Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
A host of major champions will tee it up at this month’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic as Shane Lowry, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer add their firepower to an already stellar cast confirmed to play.
With Collin Morikawa, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia previously announced, there are 10 major winners committed to the tournament, which gets underway from Jan.28 – 31.
The field at Emirates Golf Club will also boast a plethora of Ryder Cup stars, including Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
As the European Tour’s longest running event held outside of Europe, the Dubai Desert Classic continues to underline its status as a must-play tournament for the game’s best players by attracting world-class fields, year after year.
Ireland’s Lowry became the latest European major success story with an heroic six-shot victory at The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 – the highest winning margin in a Major since 2014.
The 33-year-old is making his third consecutive appearance in the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and is looking to build on back-to-back top 15 finishes over the Majlis.
“I love starting the year in the Middle East and this is a special event in a great city," said Lowry. “I have played well over the last couple of years there and I’m hoping that can continue this month and kick start another successful season. The field is shaping up nicely and it’s all set up to be another great week.”
Willett is another player who tasted success in the Dubai Desert Classic before breaking through as a Major champion – achieving both in the same year when he followed his victory in Dubai by triumphing at The Masters in 2016.
“This tournament is a special one for me as a past champion and I love coming back here year after year,” said Willett, who made his Ryder Cup debut five years ago and is playing in the Desert Classic for the 11th time.
“The Majlis is a classic course and is always presented in fantastic condition so it’s a week I always look forward to at the start of each season.”
Four-time major champion Els won his first European Tour title at the 1994 Dubai Desert Classic and later that year won his maiden Major at the US Open to kick-start a career that would lead him to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Els would win the Desert Classic on two more occasions in 2002 and 2005 to become the tournament’s first, and to this day only, three-time champion.
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