European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington will head to the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club next January, where he will be joined by his successful predecessor Thomas Bjørn and two-time winning assistant Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
The trio of European Tour legends join an already star-studded field, which sees the return of the tournament-record setting defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau. Previous winners Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Haotong Li, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett will also be in attendance, in addition to a bevy of other big names – including Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Matt Wallace and Lee Westwood.
The oldest tournament in the region and the longest running on the circuit outside of Europe will be played on the Majlis Course, newly crowned the best in the Middle East by Golf Digest. 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 make his eighth appearance at the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic next year and, aside from arriving in the UAE in search of a 16th European Tour title, will no doubt have a busy week assessing those in early contention for one of 12 Ryder Cup berths next September – a fact that does not escape the Irishman.
“The OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic is one of our most iconic events and one I cannot wait to return to,” said Harrington, who finished in a tie for second alongside Tiger Woods at this event in 2001, two shots adrift of Bjorn. “There is a lot of golf to be played between now and Whistling Straits and, in that time, I hope to play with everyone who is in contention for the team. I can think of no better place to do so than Emirates Golf Club, so I’m looking forward it.”
Bjørn knows what it takes to triumph over Team USA, but with his experience in Paris 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.
“I always love coming back to Dubai and the Desert Classic has so many great memories for me,” said the 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain. “To go toe-to-toe with Tiger and come out on top is not something many people can lay claim to, so it is a moment from my career that I will never forget. The Majlis Course is always in impeccable condition and it will be great to get out there again in January.”
No stranger to the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, Jiménez will make his 26th appearance at the event in 2020, stand out in which was his table-topping display nine years ago. That year he triumphed over Westwood in extra holes, some five years on from narrowly losing out to three-time winner Ernie Els, as the South African eagled the 72nd hole to win by a stroke.
“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.”
With the four-day event set to be bigger and better than ever, now is the perfect time to book daily, season or Terrace Hospitality tickets with prices starting from AED75.
The inaugural OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic was won by England’s Mark James and has gone on to establish a roll of honour boasting some of the biggest names in golf over the past 30 years – including the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie and Woods.