European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington heads the field set to tee-up in next month’s 31st staging of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club.
Joining the triple Major winning Irishman will be victorious 2018 European Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn, a brilliant winner of the 2001 event when he denied then World No. 1 Tiger Woods as well as Harrington who shared second place, two shots behind the Dane.
Defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau is returning along with former Desert Classic winners in Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Haotong Li, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Matt Wallace and double Dubai winner, Stephen Gallacher of Scotland.
The Omega was first contested in 1989 and it is easily the oldest tournament in the Middle East region.
In addition, next year’s event will boast an exciting new event offering, with VIP Hospitality Terrace packages available to buy now, in addition to an all new ‘Tournament Town’, which will offer a first-class culinary experience and the latest in family entertainment.
Harrington will be making his eighth appearance at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic next year and travelling to Dubai in search of a 16th European Tour title.
“Tiger (Woods) and I were joint runner-up to Thomas back in 2001, so it is one event where I’ve been so close to winning but just haven’t managed to get over the line,” said Harrington.
“I remember first teeing-up in the event in 1997 and it’s been an event I have played as my first of a new season for many years, so I’m again looking forward to heading again back to Dubai.”
Bjørn knows what it takes to triumph over Team USA, but with his experience in Versailles behind him, 2020 provides a great opportunity for ‘The Great Dane’ to demonstrate how he earned that moniker. What better place than an event the 48-year old has tasted success at before having, some 18 years ago, played alongside Woods on all four days to deliver one of the event’s most iconic closing Sundays.
“That week was pretty special,” Bjorn said.
“The tournament built around us and it became a two-man battle for a lot of it.
“There was the big fear factor of playing with Tiger at that time. He was expected to win every time he teed it up. But the whole week I played some of the best golf I’ve ever done, and felt if I could just hang onto his shirttails, you never know what happens on the last few holes.”
Also in the 2020 OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic field is Spain’s ever-green Miguel Angel Jiménez who will be making 26th appearance at the event having won a decade ago in 2010.
“I first played in this event back in 1991, so it has been amazing to come back virtually every year and see how much the place has changed,” said the 55-year old Spaniard, who was a winning Ryder Cup Assistant Captain in 2012 and 2014.
“I have some amazing memories from my visits to Dubai and my win here is a stand-out for me. I still enjoy coming out and proving I have what it takes to keep up with the young guys, so I’m looking forward to doing just that in a few weeks.”