Hot on the heels of being named European Tour Rookie of the Year, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre has added his name to a world class OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic field, where he will be joined by Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Guido Migliozzi and Erik Van Rooyen, who all claimed maiden European Tour titles in 2019.
The crop of rising stars at Emirates Golf Club on January 23-26, 2020, will also include Matthias Schwab and Adri Arnaus, who both came close to a first victory in the 2019 season, en route to finishing 17th and 41st on the Race to Dubai, respectively.
All six will arrive at Emirates Golf Club looking to emulate the success of defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, who will return to Dubai alongside fellow winners Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Li Haotong, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett. In addition, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Matt Wallace and Lee Westwood are all set to bring further star quality to the 31st edition of the event from.
Following a stellar amateur career, MacIntyre has impressed since earning his card through last year’s Challenge Tour Rankings, coming close to a maiden victory on several occasions – including runner-up finishes at both the Betfred British Masters and Made in Denmark presented by FREJA. The left-hander will hope to rubber stamp his rookie accolade with a first title, and the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic will be one of the first opportunities for him to do so in 2020.
“This year really couldn’t have gone much better,” said the 23 year old, who finished in a tie for sixth on his first Major appearance at The Open earlier this year. “I’ve come close to winning on a few occasions, which has been a great experience. I learned a lot each time and feel it is just a matter of time until I put it all together and win. If that were to be in Dubai, it would be amazing. The Scots have a pretty good record there, so I’d love to follow on from Stephen (Gallacher) and Colin (Montgomerie) by putting my name on the trophy too.”
Much like MacIntyre in 2019, Van Rooyen had spent much of the previous 18 months knocking on the door of a first European Tour title, which subsequently came earlier this year at the Scandinavian Invitation. Confirming his status as one of the Tour’s brightest young stars, the 29-year old backed that up with three runner-up finishes and seven further top-10s in the 2019 season, resulting in a career-best 10th place finish on the Race to Dubai.
“This has been a great year, but I hope it’s just the beginning,” said Van Rooyen, who graduated from the 2017 Challenge Tour Rankings. “To win in Sweden was an amazing moment in my career, but I have been just as pleased with the consistency I have shown this year. I want to build on this in 2020 and a win in Dubai, following in the footsteps of Ernie Els, would be amazing. I grew up watching him win all over the world and it would be great to achieve even a fraction of that myself.”
Migliozzi burst onto the scene last season, claiming two victories in almost as many months, taking top spot at both the Magical Kenya Open and Belgian Knockout en route to 40th place on the Race to Dubai. The Italian will arrive in the UAE looking to kickstart his sophomore season in style by adding another title to his burgeoning resume.
“I cannot wait to play at Emirates Golf Club,” said the 22-year old, who would become the first Italian to win the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic title. “This has been an incredible first season, but I’m not going to stop here. I want this to be the start of a long career and the more I play in tournaments of this stature, the better I will get. I have not played in this event before, but I have heard great things, so I can’t wait to get going in January.”
It has been a roller-coaster journey for Bezuidenhout to get to this point in his career, but a victory at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation back in June was a great example of triumph over adversity. His victory was no flash in the pan, however, as the South African racked up an additional five top 10 finishes and now sits as high as 90th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Rounding out the crop of emerging talent are Spain’s Adri Arnaus and Austria’s Matthias Schwab. The former posted six top-10 finishes last season, including runner-up finishes in Kenya and the Czech Republic, while the latter narrowly lost out in a recent six-man play-off at the Turkish Airlines Open – one of 10 top 10 results in just his second full season on the European Tour.
The inaugural OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic was played in 1989 and won by England’s Mark James. Since then, the roll of honour has boasted some of the biggest names in golf over the past 30 years, including the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie and Tiger Woods.
With the four-day event set to be bigger and better than ever, offering an enhanced hospitality experience, contemporary food and beverage offers and a rejuvenated kids’ zone, in addition to a truly world-class field, this is the perfect time to book daily, season or Terrace Hospitality tickets with prices starting from AED75.
To purchase hospitality, season or daily tickets, go to: www.omegadubaidesertclassic.com/buy-tickets/
For more information on the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, visit: www.omegadubaidesertclassic.com/