Everything you need to know from the week's action at Emirates Golf Club.
Lucas Herbert held on for a thrilling play-off victory, providing an appropriate winner on Australia Day, the European Tour saw its quickest ever round and Dean Burmester overcame a car crash on Wednesday to finish third.
Here, we take a look at the highlights from the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Herbert secures emotional victory
Lucas Herbert won his maiden European Tour title with a play-off victory over Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Herbert began the final round six shots back but with very high winds and showers at Emirates Golf Club, the leaderboard and the event was blown wide open. Bezuidenhout and Herbert both fired brilliant rounds of 68 to get to nine under, and although Australian Herbert found water with his second on the first play-off hole, he saved par thanks to a stunning shot from the drop zone. His second shot next time around could not have been more different, as he got within 20 feet and a two putt birdie handed him the title.
Herbert’s victory was entirely appropriate, coming as it did on Australia Day. "It's the best thing ever, it's so good," he said. "We've got a bottle of scotch at home to celebrate back in Australia so I can't wait to get into that with the boys." Australia continues to battle against bushfires that have brought havoc and tragically claimed lives, and Herbert had a message for all his fellow Australians. "There's some pretty average stuff happening in Australia right now with the fires and Cam Smith said it a couple of weeks ago when he won, everyone around the world is behind us and hopefully we can keep fighting harder than what I did on that first play-off hole," he said. "That's nothing compared to the firefighters and volunteers that are putting out the fires so I'm sending all my love back home."
Burmester’s new approach pays dividends
Dean Burmester adopted a new mental attitude after being involved in a four car collision ahead of the tournament – and it paid immediate dividends. The South African and his family were involved in the crash on Wednesday but thankfully escaped with only minor injuries. A sore ankle did not look to bother Burmester as he finished in a tie for third on seven under. Speaking after his second round, Burmester said: “It was quite hectic. There were four cars involved in the accident, our Uber driver drove straight into the back of a Porsche and then we ricocheted onto another car. Luckily we're all okay, we're just bruised and battered and a little bit sore. After the car accident you realise what's important in life and I think I was taking golf a little too seriously. So I just kind of relaxed and looked at the family and we're kind of just enjoying our time, so that's been the biggest difference."
Record rapid round
The European Tour has recently introduced new initiatives to tackle slow play but Sebastian Soderberg did not have to worry about those as he played the fastest round in Tour history. The Swede played his final round at Emirates Golf Club in just 97 minutes – running round Emirates Golf Club in just 75 shots. He averaged just five minutes and 23 seconds a hole and was in the recording hut done and dusted before 9.00am – having been first man out at 7.10am. “I just tried to play as fast as possible,” he said. "I felt like it would be a fun thing to do and I didn't necessarily think it would hurt my game too much at some points. I struggled the last two days so I figured it wouldn’t really hurt my game just to jog in between and not think too much. I think three over is not bad, with zero fairways hit."
1 hr 36 min is a joke 😳. What an effort shooting +3 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) January 26, 2020
He’s broken the record by 24 minutes! That’s extraordinary. Kipchoge should take notes.— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) January 26, 2020
Emirates Golf Club turned pink on Saturday to raise awareness for breast cancer charities. From Eddie Pepperell's hat to Bryson's shirt to Dean Burmester's trousers (and socks!). The flags were pink and even the fans got involved - all in aid of a great cause.