Low­down on the Dubai Desert Clas­sic that tees off Thurs­day.

The Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic takes place at Emi­rates Golf Club this week, show­cas­ing some of the big­gest names in golf. Here is ev­ery­thing you need to know.

The National - News - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - John McAuley

What is it?

Now in its 28th stag­ing, the event was for a long time re­ferred to as the “Ma­jor of the Mid­dle East”. The fi­nal stop on the Euro­pean Tour’s Desert Swing, it fol­lows on from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Cham­pi­onship and the Qatar Masters. This week’s prize fund stands at US$2.65 mil­lion (Dh9.7m). Tour­na­ment days are Thurs­day to Sun­day.

Who is play­ing?

Even with­out two-time cham­pion and world No 2 Rory McIl­roy – a late with­drawal – the event still packs some se­ri­ous star power. Tiger Woods is the ob­vi­ous big draw, given the 14-time ma­jor cham­pion’s stand­ing in the game. The Amer­i­can will tee it up along­side Hen­rik Sten­son, the high­est-ranked player in the field at world No 4. De­fend­ing cham­pion Danny Wil­lett, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poul­ter, Ser­gio Gar­cia and Graeme McDow­ell all fea­ture. Dubai-based am­a­teur Ray­han Thomas also takes part.

Past cham­pi­ons

Wil­lett, the reign­ing Masters cham­pion, is at­tempt­ing to be­come only the sec­ond player to re­tain the Cof­fee Pot tro­phy af­ter Scot­land’s Stephen Gal­lacher tri­umphed in 2014. Ernie Els is the event’s only three-time win­ner – 1994, 2002 and 2005. Gal­lacher, McIl­roy and Woods have all lifted the ti­tle twice. McIl­roy’s 2009 vic­tory was his first win on the Euro­pean Tour. Over­all, the roll of hon­our con­tains some heavy hit­ters, in­clud­ing Sten­son, Seve Balles­teros, Colin Mont­gomerie, Fred Cou­ples and Jose Maria Olaz­a­bal.


Daily tick­ets for the four days of com­pe­ti­tion are priced at Dh175. A sea­son pass, which pro­vides ac­cess all week, in­clud­ing to­mor­row’s Pro-Am day, is avail­able for Dh675. Sin­gle tick­ets for the Pro-Am cost Dh75. Those aged 18 and un­der will be al­lowed free en­try to the course if they are ac­com­pa­nied by an adult who is hold­ing a valid ticket for the day. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. dubaidesert­clas­sic.com.

Getty Images

Danny Wil­lett will be tar­get­ing a sec­ond Dubai Desert Clas­sic start­ing Thurs­day.

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