Dubai: The winner of this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic will hold aloft a glittering new trophy that fittingly corresponds with the rebranding of the tournament’s name and will usher in a new era in women’s golf in the region.
Formerly called the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, the season finale of the Ladies Europe Tour has attracted a characteristically strong field of 108 players, who will tee off at Emirates Golf Club’s pristine Majlis Course on Wednesday morning.
The beautifully crafted trophy, which draws its inspiration from the iconic Arabian Coffee Pot, is made of sterling silver and proudly stands at 62 centimetres high. All of three kilos in weight, it will test the winner’s resolve just as much as the Par 72, 7,301-yard course will have done over four intense days of competition.
A distinguishing feature of the design is the 1,270 holes crafted in the trophy to allow the sun’s rays to shine through, making it both stylish and mesmerising.
“It’s amazing,” said 2009 champion In-Kyung Kim of South Korea. “It looks more like the guys’ trophy [Desert Classic]. Fantastic.
“Looks like a genie is going to come out or something. I just kept staring at it today on the first tee. Yeah, it’s kind of a piece of art. It’s kind of nice to see.”
France’s Camille Chevalier could be considered a long-shot to lift the impressive trophy on Saturday evening, but she oozed heart-warming confidence as she talked about her chance.
“A win would be awesome. If not, a top 10 will be OK,” said the Marseille-born youngster, who is tipped to pick up the coveted Rookie of the Year trophy.
“I came here to win. If you don’t come to win, then why do you come?,” she added
Italy’s Veronica Zorzi, who has chosen Dubai to play her career-last tournament, said she will always have great memories of playing at the Majlis…
“I decided this will be my last tournament because my child is two now and I have a job coaching,” she said. “I have some great memories of my two victories in France and the team events we played in, like the World Cup and the European Cup.
“Also, here in Dubai, I finished second in 2008 to Anja Monke. I enjoyed my time on tour a lot. I have been on tour for around 15 years.”