Rising stars Viktor Hovland and Shugo Imahira will line up against a host of Major Champions, Ryder Cup players and European Tour winners when they make their first OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic appearance at Emirates Golf Club on January 23-26, 2020.
They will be joined in the UAE by former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who heads to the event looking to build some momentum after an injury-hit 2019. The South African, who struggled with a wrist injury for much of the last year, will arrive in Dubai looking to rediscover the form that has seen him claim 11 European Tour victories - including the 2011 Masters Tournament - and emulate fellow countryman Ernie Els and Wayne Westner by getting his hands on the Dallah trophy.
This year’s OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic boasts a world-class field thanks to the return of defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and former tournament champions Thomas Bjørn, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Li Haotong, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett. They are joined by multiple European Tour winners Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, plus Major winner and European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington.
Already aiming to establish himself amongst those marquee names is 22 year old Hovland, who will excite local fans with an aggressive approach that saw him finish 11th on his first regular season European Tour appearance at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship to follow on from a tied 12th place finish on his debut at the U.S. Open. The Norwegian also yielded a record-breaking run of scoring on the US PGA Tour last year, shooting 19 straight rounds in the 60s from June to October to confirm his credentials as one of golf’s hottest prospects.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to come to Dubai,” said Hovland, who will be eyeing a potential European Ryder Cup debut later this year. “One of the great things since turning professional has been playing so many events and courses that I have watched growing up as a kid and the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic is no different. There have been so many iconic moments there and I can’t think of a better place to kickstart 2020 than at Emirates GC in a couple of weeks.”
Similarly, Imahira will arrive in Dubai looking to add to his burgeoning international resume following several successful campaigns on his native Japan Golf Tour. Four wins in the last two seasons, including two in the last three months, has seen the 27-year old rise as high as 31st in the Official World Golf Ranking, making the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic the perfect opportunity to see one of world golf’s new stars up close.
“I’m excited to be coming to Dubai for the first time to make my European Tour debut,” said Imahira, who won the Japan Golf Tour Money List in 2018. “I have not played much outside of Japan, so this is a great opportunity to see how my game shapes up next to some of the world’s best players. I have also heard amazing things about this event and Dubai as a destination, so I cannot wait to experience everything later this month.”
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, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie and Tiger Woods.
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.
To purchase hospitality, season or daily tickets, visit www.omegadubaidesertclassic.com/buy-tickets/
For more information on the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, visit www.omegadubaidesertclassic.com