Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Rory McIlroy - plays a short iron shot in practice ahead of the 2018 Omega Dubai Desert Classic  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy - plays a short iron shot in practice ahead of the 2018 Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Getty Images)

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  • Ian Poulter during his final round at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

With another fine field assembled for the 2018 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, we preview the pick of the round one and two tee times.

All eyes will be on Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson on Thursday morning as the star trio, who have all won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic before, get their first rounds at Emirates Golf Club underway at 08:00 local time.

Masters champion Garcia, who won last week on the Asian Tour’s SMBC Singapore Open, arrives in Dubai as defending champion having beaten Stenson to the title last year on a thrilling final day, while two-time winner McIlroy heads into the week on the back of a very positive showing in his first European Tour outing in over three months at last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, where the Northern Irishman finished in a tie for third.

Man of the moment Tommy Fleetwood will be looking to bring his remarkable form up the road to Dubai, after defending his title in Abu Dhabi last week, with the Race to Dubai champion being drawn alongside the big-hitting Thomas Pieters and Pat Perez at 08:10 local time, in what promises to be an interesting threeball.

Last week’s runner-up Ross Fisher, Bernd Wiesberger and Rafa Cabrera Bello will form a strong ball-striking group when they get their challenges started at 12:10, with that threeball being followed onto the tee by three men who won on the European Tour in 2017, in the shape of Branden Grace, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton.

Meanwhile, the all-English trio of Ian PoulterLee Westwood and Danny Willett will get their challenges underway at 07:50 local time Willett won the 2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, before like Garcia, going onto to win The Masters afterwards, while Westwood will be chasing his first win here following three previous runner-up finishes, in what will be his 23rd appearance in this event.

To see the full draw for rounds one and two at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic click here.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LI, HaotongCHN18-23
2MCILROY, RoryNIR18-22
3HATTON, TyrrellENG18-20
4LEVY, AlexanderFRA18-19
5PAISLEY, ChrisENG18-17
T6RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-16

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