Here’s everything you need to know about the newest event on the DP World Tour, the Hero Cup:
HERO CUP DEBUT
This week marks the inaugural playing of the Hero Cup, which will pit two 10-man teams against each other over the course of three days. It is an official DP World Tour event and features a team of players from Great Britain and Ireland against a Continental Europe team. Englishman Tommy Fleetwood will captain GB&I, while Italian Francesco Molinari will captain Continental Europe.
The two captains have worked closely with 2023 European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, who selected the Hero Cup teams. Performance in the season-long Race to Dubai rankings last season was an important factor in team selection.
The Hero Cup will consist of four rounds over the course of three days (January 13-15). The two teams will square off in one session of fourballs (best ball) mid-day Friday, followed by two sessions of foursomes (alternate shot) on Saturday and singles matches on Sunday.
Unlike the Ryder Cup, every player from each team will play every session. One point is available in each match, with both teams receiving half a point if a match is tied. There are 25 total points up for grabs.
Great Britain & Ireland: Tommy Fleetwood (playing captain), Ewen Ferguson, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre, Séamus Power, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith, Matt Wallace, Richard Mansell.
Continental Europe: Francesco Molinari (playing captain), Thomas Detry, Nicolai Højgaard*, Adrian Meronk, Guido Migliozzi, Alex Noren, Viktor Perez, Thomas Pieters, Sepp Straka, Antoine Rozner.
*Replaces twin brother – Rasmus Højgaard – who withdrew due to injury.
The Hero Cup will be played at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, a longtime stop on the DP World Tour. Abu Dhabi GC hosted the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for 16 consecutive years, beginning in 2006.
For starters, the clubhouse is shaped like a falcon with its wings outstretched. Once you make your way through the massive clubhouse, you find a par-72 golf course measuring 7,642 yards. The course features a closing par 5 that plays 562 yards with an approach shot over water, which could lead to a dramatic finish for any matches that go the distance.
Fleetwood won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at this course in 2017 and 2018. Lowry won it in 2019, the first year it was elevated to a Rolex Series event. Hatton was the last victor at the venue after a dominant performance saw him secure a fourth Rolex Series triumph in his masterful 2021 season.