Tuesday, 02 February 2016
Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy will begin his defence of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title alongside Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen in the pick of the morning groups at Emirates Golf Club.

The trio will tee off from the tenth hole at 08.05 on Thursday, with McIlroy looking to add to the titles he won here in 2009 – his first as a professional – and 2015.

Another player with multiple Omega Dubai Desert Classic victories to his name is Ernie Els, who starts the quest for his fourth win at 12.15 from the first, with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger for company.

Ten minutes after them is another former champion in Thomas Bjørn (2001), who has been drawn with Englishmen Danny Willett and Chris Wood for the first two rounds, while in the next group Welshman Jamie Donaldson will make his first appearance of the season alongside British Masters champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and Byeong Hun An, last season’s Rookie of the Year.

Two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer, who was second here in 2008, is off at 07.55 from the tenth with fellow US Open champion Graeme McDowell and four-time European Tour champion Søren Kjeldsen, and ten minutes later Andy Sullivan will tee it up with Thongchai Jaidee and Miguel Angel Jiménez

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke will have another chance to run the rule over a number of hopefuls for Hazeltine, not least his playing partners for the first two rounds, Thorbjørn Olesen and Thomas Pieters. That group will tee off at 08.25 from the tenth.

For the full draw, click HERE

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WILLETT, DannyENG18-19
T4QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-16
T4AN, Byeong HunKOR18-16

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