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A Tale of Two Leaders: Donald and Stinson Start Abu Dhabi Strong | golf

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In a turbulent 12 months, Henrik Stenson passed away from Ryder Cup captain-elect to accept the roleAnd He is actually expelled He found himself in a legal dispute with the very group he had been representing for a while. Stinson’s screenplay fairly encapsulates the crazy times in golf. There is nothing more straightforward than the ropes.

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like Luke Donald, Who will lead Europe? Against the United States in Rome in September, she rose to the top of the Abu Dhabi tournament on Thursday, feeling poetic that Stinson came on his heels.

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“Strange things happened,” Stenson said when he was offered the prospect of the Ryder Cup as a player. But if there is an issue between Stenson, his fellow LIV Rebels and European tour The group is heading their way in early February, and back-to-back action in the Middle East could offer some players the last sights of their home tour.

Stenson scored a 68th in his first DP World Tour since last year’s Scottish Open. “I made up my mind and Ryder Cup Al Suwaidi said. “It’s not great, but it is what it is.

“The Ryder Cup has been a huge part of my career. I wish Luke all the best as the team progresses and we’ll see where we all end up long-term with this. There are a lot of people I’ve spent many years with who are still my friends no matter where I play golf “.

However, there are those who believe that players who have succumbed to LIV fortunes should stay completely away from this round. “Absolutely, without a doubt,” said Stinson when asked if he felt welcome at Yas Links. “The way I look at it, when we all went to play on the PGA Tour back in the day, we weren’t supposed to be welcomed back then.

“There are multiple world tours and as far as I’m concerned, as long as you meet your criteria and earn your right to be out there, you should be able to play in as many leagues as you want. But I haven’t had a single player come up to me and vent those thoughts.”

It was easy to forget that Donald was the world number one for so long, after a decline that saw him slide to No. 541 in the world rankings. He has appeared in two majors since the beginning of 2017.

Rising to Ryder Cup captaincy may have given Donald a new focus. The first round 64 he played here inevitably raised questions about whether he could qualify for his team. “I just make myself a target for the players trying to make the team,” he said with a smile. “If they can’t beat me, what the hell are they doing? I hope I inspire them.

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“It would be hard to be a captain playing. I’ve been vice-captain twice. I’ve been around other captains. There’s a lot going on. It’s early days and a nice start to the week. But nothing more.”

Two players with strong aspirations of joining Donald in Italy started promisingly. Guido Migliozzi caught a first, tenth, courtesy of 88 yards when he was on his way to 65. U.S.-based Irishman Seamus Power is a stroke off Migliozzi and Jason Scrivener. Shane Lowry looked content with a 67 while Tommy Fleetwood celebrated his 32nd birthday by posting a 68.

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