You could say the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is the curtain-raising event of 2023 on the DP World Tour with a lion's share of the $9 million prize purse up for grabs.
It is the first Rolex Series event of the season, with the Hero Dubai Desert Classic being the second one next week. Thomas Pieters is the defending champion and he will be competing against a host of European stars this week.
GolfMagic Editor Andy Roberts and Tour Writer Matt Chivers reveal their picks for Abu Dhabi glory this week (skip to the end of the video to check out their tips):
Pieters, 30, won his sixth DP World Tour title this time last year by fending off Shubhankar Sharma and Rafa Cabrera-Bello by one shot on 10-under-par.
Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre, Seamus Power and Alex Noren are all in the field looking for glory at Yas Links on Sunday.
A host of LIV Golf players are also playing in the event as the DP World Tour waits for the verdict of a hearing next month which will ultimately determine if LIV Golf players can be banned and fined.
Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed and Bernd Wiesberger are some of the key names playing in the Middle East this week who belong to Greg Norman's ranks.
European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald is also competing and presumably surveying the performances of prospective captain's picks for the event in Rome in eight months' time.
We have three picks for the action in Abu Dhabi below and you can hear more of our thoughts on the From The Tips: GolfMagic Podcast, which can be found on YouTube and all of your favourite podcast platforms.
PICK 1 - Tyrrell Hatton - 11/1
Tyrrell Hatton won this event by four shots in 2021, a mightily impressive performance on a course he clearly enjoys playing. The Englishman has won four Rolex Series events in his career.
Had he had his time again at the DP World Tour Championship in November, he may have beaten Jon Rahm to the season-ending title. This was an event that slipped away from Hatton but he showed he can mix it with arguably the best player on the planet at present.
Hatton has three top-10s in his last three DP World Tour events and he played consistently on the PGA Tour in 2022 as well. He made 11 top-25s and made the top 10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC Match Play.
He is the betting favourite this week which is no shock, but this double-figure price for a seasoned DP World Tour player and past champion is more than acceptable.
PICK 2 - Tommy Fleetwood - 12/1
You can certainly expect Tommy Fleetwood to be on top of the leaderboard this Sunday in Abu Dhabi. He is a two-time champion and he came second in 2020.
The Englishman came tied for fifth at the DP World Tour Championship and he emotionally won the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the end of 2022, his sixth win on the Tour.
The World No.24 has made a solid start to his PGA Tour season too, making a top-10 in the CJ Cup in what is only one of two appearances on the American circuit so far.
A point bigger than Hatton might make him a more attractive betting prospect this week, but we can certainly expect both players to challenge at this prestigious event.
PICK 3 - Ryan Fox - 28/1
Ryan Fox was one of the standout players on the DP World Tour in 2022. He won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, as well as coming second three times.
It wasn't his week at the DP World Tour Championship as he was in contention to sensationally win the Race to Dubai. He finished second in the season-long rankings which capped off almost a perfect year.
Fox should carry this form into 2023 and 28/1 is a very generous price for an in-form big hitter. He was 10th in driving distance and sixth in stroke average on the Tour in 2022.
Fancy a wager on the PGA Tour? Check out our Golf Betting Tips for The American Express.