McIlroy, Woods among top-class field in Abu Dhabi

McIlroy, Woods among top-class field in Abu Dhabi
January 16, 2013, 6:04 am

Rory Mcilroy from northern Ireland, left, talks to Justin Rose of England, as he holds a traditional Arabic coffee pot at a press briefing two days ahead of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Salazar)

(APWF)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) After the buzz of his multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal and a fight over the European Ryder Cup captain, Rory McIlroy is looking forward to actually playing some golf again.

The world's top-ranked golfer leads a star-studded field at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship that also includes Tiger Woods, No. 5 Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer.

McIlroy signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike this week and then led the charge to support Paul McGinley in his successful campaign to become Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014.

The two-time major winner said he is looking forward to getting his year off to a strong start Thursday at the National Course, where he has never won.