CLUB class Simon Dyson has been given an early start in the opening round of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship tomorrow.

Bidding to quickly improve a world ranking that has fallen from 63 to 71 after last week’s Volvo Champions tournament in South Africa, the York-born ace is among the first three-balls out at the Abu Dhabi course.

The 35-year-old, who has six European Tour titles under his belt, is partnered by Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and Hennie Otto of South Africa – each of whom boast a brace of European tour crowns.

The Abu Dhabi Championship, whose prize fund totals $2.7 million, is the first of three successive Gulf States tournaments attempted by Dyson and completed by the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, both with prize funds of $2.5 million.

Tomorrow’s event also includes a three-ball of world number one Rory McIlroy, fresh from his record-breaking £80 million sponsorship deal with sports manufacturing giants Nike, world number two Tiger Woods and Germany’s former world number one Martin Kaymer.