As Gary Player warmed up for the inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic, the enigmatic South African pinpointed young Irish sensation as the next world number 1 of golf.
The legendary Player is supremely confident that if McIlroy continues on the same path his future will be bright and ladened with trophies and success.
“He has a great team behind him, bags of talent and one of the best swings in golf. If he continues the way he is going I have no doubt Rory has the potential to be the next world number 1,” commented Player.
The comment comes as Player hosts the inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic in Abu Dhabi today.
The course, developed by Tourism Development Investment Company (TDIC) has been designed by the Black Knight, Gary Player’s golf course design company.
Located on Saadiyat Island, the course is one of Abu Dhabi’s flagship developments that will further the appeal of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination.
“The opening of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club marks an important step forward in Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a world-class golf destination. To have one of golf’s rising stars and one of the sport’s greatest ever players teeing up next to one another, is a significant boost to Abu Dhabi and its sporting ambitions,” said Ahmed Hussein, COO, TDIC and Deputy Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
The Saadiyat Beach Classic welcomed a host of stars from the world of golf and sport. With the likes of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrence all taking part.
“We start our season in Abu Dhabi and have a three week swing in the Middle East. The UAE has become a great destination and with facilities like Saadiyat Beach I can only see more and more golfers coming to play here.
“It is ideal for practicing and the facilities are all world class,” commented World number 11 McIlroy.
The golf course itself is the Arabian Gulf’s first ever beach front golf course and boasts some of the finest views of the Arabian Gulf.