AP News

McIlroy, Woods headline world-class field in Abu Dhabi

Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy will play his first competitive round with his new Nike clubs on Thursday.

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.

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