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17 July 2024

Ones to watch

Rory McIlroy (FILE)

By John McAuley

Paul Casey: The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship winner ended a two-year drought last week thanks mainly to some inspired putting and is more than talented to add another title in the Emirates.

Rory McIlroy: The 19-year-old has been on top of his game for the past three months, culminating in him breaching the top 50 of the world rankings. A strong performance in Abu Dhabi last week cemented the belief that the boy from Hollywood in Northern Ireland is a rising star.

Sergio Garcia: The world No2 has started the year well, posting an eighth place finish in Abu Dhabi and has the short-game to win almost anywhere. The Spaniard has also set the early pace in the inaugural Race to Dubai and will look to show golf fans in the emirate that he'll be in the mix when the season concludes here in November.

Colin Montgomerie: Monty is back at the scene of his 1996 triumph, where the Scot won 'Shot of the Year' for his brave second to the final green. All eyes could be on the 45-year-old for other reasons however, as he has been installed as the favourite for the 2010 Ryder Cup captaincy.

Ernie Els: Something of a Desert Classic specialist, the 'Big Easy' has won the event three times and thrice finished runner-up. He threatened again last year, but a bogey on the final hole put pay to his championship. He still finished third, though.