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Greater challenge awaits golfers in Abu Dhabi

Competitors at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship will be confronted with a more challenging course layout when the tournament tees off next month.

The course, which plays host to the first event in the European Tour's Desert Swing, has undergone modifications on five holes in readiness for the championship, which starts on January 20th.

Although it has maintained its 7,440 yards in length, players, some of whom will don Galvin Green golf clothes, will now have to contend with new bunkers on holes 2, 5, 6, 14 and 17.

World number one Lee Westwood will be among the field, joined by the likes of Phil Mickleson, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell.

The high quality of competitors may have something to do with the $2.7 million (£1.7 million) prize purse - the largest on offer on the Desert Swing.

Speaking about the amendments to the course, spokesperson Faisal Al Shaikh said: "I think the players will enjoy the challenge of analysing the course changes and adapting their games."

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