DID YOU KNOW – OMEGA DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
• The Dubai Desert Classic was first played in 1989 and the roll of honour includes seven different Major Champions. They are: Seve Ballesteros (1992), Ernie Els (1994, 02, 05), Fred Couples (1995), José Maria Olazábal (1998), Mark O’Meara (2004), Tiger Woods (2006, 08) and Rory McIlroy (2009). Between them they have won 30 Major Championships.
• The 2014 event will be the 25th playing of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. To celebrate this milestone, 18 champions are taking part.
• To highlight the strength of the field this year, there are 85 European Tour winners competing who have a total of 401 European Tour victories between them.
• Should defending champion Stephen Gallacher make a successful defence of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, he would make history as the first player to win back-to-back titles.
• On his way to victory in 2011, Alvaro Quiros made a hole-in-one at the 11th hole in the fourth round. He became only the third player in European Tour history to win a European Tour event and record an ace in the final round. He followed Thongchai Jaidee (2004 Malaysian Open) and Miguel Angel Jiménez (2008 BMW PGA Championship).
• The 2011 event witnessed four holes-one. All of them were in separate rounds. The only other time this has occurred on The European Tour was the 1991 Fujitsu Mediterranean Open.
• Barry Lane, playing this year as a sponsor’s invitation, continues his unique record of being the only player to have played in every Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The 2014 event will be his 684th European Tour career appearance. The Englishman will continue his record of playing a European Tour every year since 1982; 33 consecutive seasons.
• Tiger Woods will be playing the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for a seventh time. The Omega Dubai Desert Classic represents the most appearances he has made in a regular European Tour event. His stroke average from his previous six appearances is 68.41.
• Ernie Els has played 11 times in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic over the Emirates course. In that time he has recorded three victories and nine top three finishes overall. Of his 46 rounds on the Emirates course he is a total of 169 under par, with a stroke average of 68.16. He set the current course record of 61 (-11) on the opening day in 1994, which contained a European Tour record of 12 birdies in a single round. He has broken par in 41 of his 46 rounds.
• Since 1989 the tournament has seen 21 different winners from 12 different nations.