Dubai: Jose Coceres and Robert-Jan Derksen won the Dubai Desert Classic Challenge match, beating their nearest challengers Ernie Els and Darren Clarke in a playoff at the Emirates Golf Club's Par-3 course yesterday.
The two pairs birdied the closing hole to force a playoff on four-under-par.
All four players hit the green again in the playoff (ninth) hole, but Argentina's Coceres was closest to pin which good enough for him and his Dutch partner to win the match, sponsored by Leisurecorp.
England's David Howell and Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal finished third.
The match, featuring 16 high-profile players, formally teed off the Dubai Desert Classic week and raised funds for junior golf programmes. A total of Dh91,000 was raised for all the birdies scored during the event and the proceeds were donated to the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation and South Ayrshire Junior Golf Club, the two charities supporting junior golf programmes.
Three-time winner Ernie Els led the star parade for the Challenge match. He was joined by 10 other former Dubai Desert Classic champions in a match that offered the fans a rare opportunity to watch the stars up close as they delivered a "clinic" in wedge play.
Ryder Cup heroes Clarke and Lee Westwood, Asia's No 1 golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, Dubai-based Ross Bain and America's Erik Compton completed the 16-player field for the nine-hole "friendly" contest.
The former champions who lined up for honours were: Els, Mark O'Meara, Coceres, Derksen, Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Wayne Westner, Richard Green, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson and Thomas Bjorn. The 16 players were split into four groups, each comprise two teams. In this two-player team game, both players play their drives and then select the best-positioned ball.
Thereafter, they hit alternate shots with the same ball until the hole was completed.