Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2012 Preview: Martin Kaymer Looks For Three-Peat

Martin Kaymer of Germany during the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship gets underway on Thursday, and that will give Martin Kaymer, the world's No. 4 golfer, a chance to win his third straight tournament here. But will Tiger Woods be able to turn in a victory during the 2012 season debut?

The 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is the fourth event on the European Tour, and the world's No. 4 golfer, Martin Kaymer, is on the lookout for his third straight victory at Abu Dhabi. Kaymer dominated last year's tournament by shooting a 24-under and winning by eight strokes (both tournament records). Overall, Kaymer has won three total tournaments, also capturing the 2008 title. Kaymer will play in a solid group that also includes Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.

Branden Grace will be in the hunt to win his third straight competition this season. He captured the Joburg Open and the Volvo Champions over the last two weeks and has captured nearly 3.3 million as a result. Grace will tee off on Hole No. 1 as part of the afternoon group.

Tiger Woods makes his 2012 season debut at Abu Dhabi and he certainly is going to have a tough challenge ahead of him as he competes with several of the top golfers: No. 1 Luke Donald and No. 3 Rory McIlroy. Will Woods be able to compete with his high-profile competition? Woods certainly sounds as though he is physically ready to perform again (via USA Today):

"I'm looking forward to this year," Woods told reporters Tuesday. "That's something that I have to say, because I was able to prepare and get fit enough to prepare last year and towards the end of the year. I demonstrated to myself what I can do with implementing what (swing coach Sean Foley) wants me to do on the golf swing."

Woods will receive $1.5 million for just appearing in this tournament.

The winner will take home a $2.7 million payout. In a field of 129 golfers, this will be a tough field to crack. As EuropeanTour.com breaks down the field, there are 97 European Tour winners and 12 Major Championship winners walking the course this week.

Visit Waggle Room and SB Nation Golf for more on the golf season.

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