Two of international golf’s most promising junior talents – Josh Hill and Jayden Schaper – have been invited to play at the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic on January 23-26, 2020, where they will compete against some of professional golf’s biggest names.
In recognition of the pair’s amateur achievements, they will star alongside a world class field at Emirates Golf Club including defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and former winners Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Haotong Li, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett.
Hill, who rose to prominence in October when he became the youngest-ever winner of an Official World Golf Ranking event at just 15-years old, is born and bred in Dubai. Grabbing headlines around the world for his Al Ain Open victory on the MENA Tour, in which he closed with a 62 to win by two shots, his appearance in Dubai will be a grander opportunity to showcase his talents on home soil.
“I can’t wait to make my European Tour debut and it will be even more special to do it at home in Dubai,” said Hill. “I’ve been coming to watch this tournament for years, so to be wandering inside the ropes will be a completely different experience. To have this opportunity so early in my career is amazing and it will be so cool seeing the best players up close. I just hope I’ll be able to give them a good game.”
Similarly, the reputation of Schaper has been on the rise at home in South Africa for several years, but more recently the 18-year old has been garnering international attention, not least as a result of his AJGA Junior Players Championship win in the United States in September. That followed on from an unprecedented ‘grand slam’ of amateur Nomads titles at home, where he became the first ever to win the under-13, 15, 17 and 19 events. These consistently strong performances led to Schaper being selected as a member of the International Team for the Junior Presidents Cup Team, in which he competed against the United States Team at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
“My game has really come on this year and to receive this invite is another fantastic achievement,” said Schaper, who will hope to one day emulate the success of compatriot Ernie Els – a three-time winner of the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, the most of any player.
“To test my game against some of the best players on the European Tour will be an incredible experience, especially at an event as iconic as this one. South Africans have a good history there and, while I might not be targeting a win, it would be great to see where my game is at and what I need to improve on. I really am already counting down the days.”
Since its inception in 1989, the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic has always prided itself on giving up-and-coming talent a chance to test their game against the best players.
This year will again be no different, as both Hill and Schaper tee it up alongside an eclectic mix of established stars and emerging international talents including Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre - the recently crowned European Tour Rookie of the Year – plus Adri Arnaus of Spain, South African pair Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Erik Van Rooyen, Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and Austrian Matthias Schwab.
"The OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic has established itself as an incredible platform for identifying talent,” said Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director. “Some of the biggest and best players have announced themselves right here in Dubai, whether that be Rory McIlroy winning his first European Tour event at Emirates Golf Club in 2009, Haotong Li overcoming the Northern Irishman to take the title two years ago, or Bryson DeChambeau proving his international credentials back in February. To give both Josh and Jayden this opportunity is both a privilege and our responsibility to provide the next best players with the opportunities they need. We look forward to welcoming them.”
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, 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