Golf in Dubai Championship Preview, Picks & Analysis
IN A week where we see a double header on the European Tour, an all-star cast will be heading to Dubai to take part in the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship at the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Meanwhile, a host of other leading lights are competing in the South African Open (see separate preview) ahead of the season-ending Dubai World Tour Championship. It is a time of year when much gold and glory are up for grabs.
Major champions Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett are part of the tournament that forms part of a double-header with the World Tour Championship, where the Race to Dubai will be concluded, with Patrick Reed a red-hot favourite to claim the crown.
Two-time major winner and 2010 Race to Dubai champion Kaymer is aiming to continue his recent revival. The German Ryder Cup star has form in the UAE, with three wins in Abu Dhabi amongst his 11 European Tour titles.
Willett is, of course, the 2016 Masters champion and won the World Tour Championship in 2018, as well as the Dubai Desert Classic two years previously, just two months before he slipped on the Green Jacket at Augusta National.
“It’s always a pleasure to play in Dubai so hats off to everyone involved in adding this new event to the schedule,” said Willett. “I’ve won a couple of times in Dubai so I jumped at the opportunity of playing another tournament there. The facilities are world class and second to none. We’re all very familiar with the Earth course as that hosts the World Tour Championship but the Fire Course will bring a fresh challenge to us players and it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
Willett and Kaymer will be joined in the field by fellow Rolex Series winners including Aaron Rai of England, and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, as well as a host of stars who are looking to add to previous wins in Dubai.
Also teeing it up, Li Haotong of China, and Scottish Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher - the only man to win back to back Dubai Desert Classic titles.
The field will also include a number of winners on the 2020 Race to Dubai, including rising Danish star Rasmus Højgaard, and Englishman Sam Horsfield – all of whom have two titles to their name this season – Spanish pair Jorge Campillo and Adrian Otaegui, Finland’s Sami Välimäki, Italian Renato Paratore and 2019 Rookie of the year Robert MacIntyre.
“Dubai is a great destination for golf and I’m excited to get out there, enjoy the warm weather, use the world-class facilities and play back-to-back weeks on two fantastic courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates,” said Højgaard, who topped the UK Swing’s mini Order of Merit earlier this season and is looking to make Europe’s Ryder Cup to face the United States at Whistling Straits next year.
“The Golf in Dubai Championship will be my first event since the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown so I can’t wait to get going and hopefully end my rookie season on a high.” There have been many great stories on the European Tour this season, but surely none better than the emergence of this very special young talent. We should enjoy him while we can because I have a feeling that he will be heading across the Atlantic before too long.
The inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship builds on the long-term relationship the European Tour has with Dubai, which began more than 30 years ago, and many of its Dubai-based Official Partners, including DP World, Dubai Duty Free and Emirates.
Rasmus Højgaard. Living the dream
Adrian Otaegui. Enjoying a wonderful season
Sami Välimäki. Underrated
Rasmus Højgaard. Incredible talent.
Adrian Otaegui. One of the straightest drivers on tour
Sami Välimäki. Great ball striker
Martin Kaymer. Still searching for that elusive win
Danny Willett. Loves this part of the world
Robert MacIntyre. Full of confidence after maiden victory
Renato Paratore. Blink and you will miss him
Aaron Rai. Having the year of his life
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