The $US2.7m tournament, starting on Thursday, kicks off the 2012 season for the 14-time Major champion, who is hoping to win his first full-field tournament since the Australian Masters in November 2009.
But now, fully recovered from his knee problems and his confidence boosted by a win at the limited-field Chevron World Challenge last month, the world No.25 is raring to go.
Woods, who will be making his Abu Dhabi debut after restricting himself to playing in neighbouring Dubai for the last decade, said:
“It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been physically fit.
“So I’m looking forward to getting out there and then playing and give it a full season, which I haven’t done in a while, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I don’t know, probably eight, 10, 12 years ago was the last time I felt fully fit. I had surgery in 2002. I had surgery in 2008. A couple other ones in there, too. It’s been a while.
“I played really well my last three events, so I’m really looking forward to this year, and continuing and building on what we have done towards the end of last year for sure.”
More than the Chevron win, Woods said it was his performance in Australia last year, where he was in contention at the Australian Open and played well in the Presidents Cup, that gives him high hopes for the season.
“I think Australia was pretty big for me to go down there for two weeks and play in that type of wind, and to hit the ball as well as I did,” he said.
“I really controlled my golf ball for two weeks, and you know, I think that led to what I did at the World Challenge.
“I hit the ball just as well there, and made a couple of putts, and especially on the last two holes there. You know, consequently, got a W (win),” said Woods, who can rise to inside the top-10 of the world rankings with a win this week.
The tournament has attracted a magnificent field with the top-four players in the world rankings – Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and three-time champion Martin Kaymer respectively in the startling line-up.