Floodlights Installed for Finishing Holes at Dubai Desert Classic
KEITH PELLEY, the chief executive of the European Tour, is not a man to let the grass grow under his feet. He has already introduced a raft of innovations to professional golf - par-three challenges, the GolfSixes, shot clocks.
And yet another will be in evidence at the Dubai Desert Classic. The more observant among you may well be aware that the tournament is being staged earlier in the year than normal. As a consequence, there were concerns that organisers may struggle to get everybody round in daylight. Initially, the field was trimmed to 126, which meant that a handful of golfers would have to miss out on one of the European Tour's most prestigious events.
However, they have come up with an answer. State-of-the-art floodlights have been installed at the ninth and 18th holes to ensure that the late starters will be able to get finished. And that means the field has been extended to 132.
“This is a wonderful idea and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport,” Pelley said. “No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight, and this intervention, should it be required, will rule out that necessity.”
The field, which includes Rory McIlroy, defending champion Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson will no doubt welcome the news. Pelley is keen to get more people through the gates, and understands that most people work from Monday to Fridayand cannot attend the opening two rounds of most tournaments.
You can be sure that his brain is on overtime as he attempts to devise a way to get floodlights installed on 18 holes, opening the way for fans to head to the course to watch their heroes after they have finished work. It may sound far-fetched, but don't be surprised to see it happen in the not-too-distant future.
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