Rolex Series

Hero Dubai Desert Classic – Fantasy DP World Tour ones to watch 

The desert swing continues this week with a world-class field assembled at Emirates Golf Club for the 34th edition of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

World Number One Rory McIlroy is the headline act for the second Rolex Series event of the year, with fellow Major Champions Shane Lowry and Francesco Molinari and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Victor Perez are all in action.

If you have not done so already, you can sign up to play the official 2023 DP World Tour Fantasy game and submit your six-man team before round one gets under way on Thursday:

The 2023 season-long winner will win a trip to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next year, enjoy a lesson with a DP World Tour professional and a round of golf on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. For more information on this amazing prize and others, read here.

Favourite – Rory McIlroy

The Northern Irishman is bidding to claim his third Dubai Desert Classic title, having won on the Majlis Course in both 2009 and 2015. The former was his maiden DP World Tour title and victory this week would see him accomplish another accolade by becoming a Rolex Series winner. Last year’s third-place finish at the Dubai Desert Classic proved to be the first of nine consecutive top tens on Tour as he was crowned Race to Dubai champion for a fourth time in November. His remarkable consistency also saw him finish as the best performing player in last year’s Fantasy game. McIlroy also won the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup for a record third time and returned to the summit of the Official World Golf Ranking. Alongside his two victories in this event, he also boasts a further seven top tens in his last nine appearances and he will move alongside Ernie Els' haul of three titles if he can lift the Dallah Trophy on Sunday. At the time of writing on Tuesday, the 33-year-old was the most popular player for this week with more than 80% of users picking him.

Rory McIlroy-1458730958

Form horse – Victor Perez

It’s been a terrific start to the new year for Perez. After underlining his match play credentials at the inaugural Hero Cup where he contributed 3.5 points from a possible four for the victorious Continental Europe team, he became the first Frenchman to win a Rolex Series title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Now a three-time winner on the DP World Tour, the 30-year-old sits top of the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. Victory in Abu Dhabi has also seen him climb 19 places to second on the Ryder Cup European Points List as he seeks to make Captain Luke Donald’s team at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in September. His best finish at the Dubai Desert Classic came in 2020 when he finished tied 16th but since then he has taken his game to new heights. Selected as Captain by 369 players last week, his triumph in Abu Dhabi has led to him becoming one of the most picked players for the second Rolex Series event.

Wild card – Wu Ashun

Coming off a top 20 finish last week at Yas Links, the Chinese player returns to a venue where he recorded back-to-back top tens in 2020 and 2021. In his seven appearances at the Majlis Course, he has only missed the cut on one occasion. Victory in Kenya – his fourth DP World Tour triumph – in the early months of last year helped him return to the prestigious season-ending DP World Tour Championship for the second time in his career. Earlier in the 2023 season, the 37-year-old finished tied ninth in the Investec South African Open and will be targeting more valuable Race to Dubai points. Could he go further though and emulate countryman Li Haotong by becoming just the second Asian golfer to win this iconic tournament?

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