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All you need to know about Rory's comeback as McIlroy paired with Fleetwood and Johnson in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy will play the opening two round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Dustin Johnson.

The Northern Irishman is making his long-awaited comeback from a rib injury and reckons he's not far from a return to winning form.

Here's all you need to know about his opening tournament of the season:

What are Rory's tee-times for the opening two rounds?

Rory begins his tournament at the unsociable hour of 3.40am GMT on Thursday morning. If you're not keen enough to get up at that hour to watch the Holywood man in action, he will begin his second round at 8.05am GMT on Friday morning. Just to make the viewing handy, Graeme McDowell tees off 20 minutes after Rory on both days.

Can I watch it on TV?

The good news is that if the mood does take you to get up to watch Rory in action, coverage begins at 3.30am on Thursday morning on Sky Sports Golf (channel 405). Coverage on the same channel begins at 7am on Friday morning, well in time for Rory and Graeme's tee-times.

What has Rory said about his comeback?

"I'm excited to be back at a golf tournament. It's been a while. The last few months have been really nice just to concentrate on a few things I needed to take care of in terms of getting myself fit and healthy to come back and sharpen up a few things in my game.

“Obviously this is the first real test of getting back and seeing how I am. So I'm looking forward to just getting out there and seeing how I perform when I need to. It's a place I've done well before and obviously a golf course I know well, so it's a comfortable place to come back and make a fresh start of the year.

“I'd love to win again. I don't think there's any better feeling than winning a golf tournament. But I don't feel like it's that far away.

“I've practised and I've played, not competitively in a proper tournament, but I've shot some really good scores over the past few weeks. It’s different doing that to being out here on Thursday and really having a card in your hand. But from everything that I've seen in practise and playing over the past few weeks, there's no reason to think that it's not that far away.”

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