Following a week in Abu Dhabi, the European Tour travels just an hour north for this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club.
The nearly-30 year old pro golf event has been part of the European Tour’s schedule since its debut in 1989, and was the first Tour event staged in the Middle East.
The 132-player field is headlined by defending champion, and the reigning Masters champion, Sergio Garica, along with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy. Other top-ranked players in Dubai include Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Pat Perez, and Tyrrell Hatton.
Tournament: Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Dates: Jan. 25-28
TV Network: GOLF
Course: Emirates Golf Club (Majlis)
Where: Dubai, UAE
Distance: 7319 yards, Par 72
Architect: BSBG (1988)
Field: 132 players
Format: 72-hole stroke; 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $500,000
Race To Dubai Points: 410,224
Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic, originally called the Karl Litten Desert Classic, has been a part of the European Tour since 1989.
Englishman Mark James was the inaugural winner, edging Aussie Peter O’Malley in a playoff. With the exception of the 1999 and 2000 editions held at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the “Desert Classic” has been played on the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club.
In addition to defending champion Garcia, other notable winners include Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, José María Olazábal, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, Stenson, and McIlroy.
Els has won the tournament three times, while Woods, McIlroy and Stephen Gallacher are two-time winners.
The tournament’s claim to fame is that it was the first live event broadcast on Golf Channel (1995).
2010-18 Omega Dubai Desert Classic
1992-09 Dubai Desert Classic
1991 No Tournament
1990 Emirates Airlines Desert Classic
1989 Karl Litten Desert Classic
2017: Sergio García
2016: Danny Willett
2015: Rory McIlroy
2014: Stephen Gallacher
2013: Stephen Gallacher
2012: Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Wins: 3 – Ernie Els (1994, 2002, 2005)
72-Hole Score: 266 (-22) – McIlroy, Thomas Bjørn, Gallacher
18-Hole Score: 61 – Els (1994)
Sergio Garcia went wire to wire to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, his 12th European Tour title. After an opening round 65, the then 37-year-old Spaniard never trailed, finishing with a final round 3-under 69 to beat Sweden’s Henrik Stenson by 3 strokes.
Tyrrell Hatton, of England, and Denmark’s Lasse Jensen tied for 3rd at 14-under. Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick and Peter Uihlein of the United States rounded out the top-5, both finishing at -12.
It was Garcia’s first win on the European Tour since the 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. The win moved Garcia back into the world top-10 – from 15 to number 9.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Sergio Garcia -19
2 Henrik Stenson -16
3 Tyrrell Hatton -14
3 Lasse Jensen -14
5 Matthew Fitzpatrick -12
5 Peter Uihlein -12
The field this week in Dubai is headlined by two of last weekend’s winners in Sergio Garica (Singapore Open) and Tommy Fleetwood (Abu Dhabi Championship).
At No. 9, Garcia is the highest world-ranked player in the field.
Other top 25-ranked players include Henrik Stenson (No. 10), Rory McIlroy (No. 11), Tommy Fleetwood (No. 12), Pat Perez (No. 17), Tyrrell Hatton (No. 18), Rafael Cabrera Bello (No. 21), Louis Oosthuizen (No. 25).
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images