Dubai: The inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship is shaping up to be a big-name lure as two-time Race to Dubai winner and reigning Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title holder Lee Westwood will be joined by Major champions Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett in a strong international field.
The new event, presented by DP World and to be played on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on December 2 to 5, forms part of a double-header with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where the latest European Tour champion will be crowned.
Westwood is aiming for more glory in the UAE after securing his 25th European Tour title in Abu Dhabi in January. The Englishman is currently fourth in the Race to Dubai Rankings, and a strong showing around the Fire Course could boost his chances of becoming European No. 1 for a third time, following his triumphs in 2000 and 2009.
The 2010 Race to Dubai champion Kaymer is aiming to continue the career renaissance at the Dubai double-header. The German Ryder Cup star has form in the UAE, with three wins in Abu Dhabi among his 11 European Tour titles.
Bringing further star power to the Golf in Dubai Championship is 2016 Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett. The Englishman has previously enjoyed success in Dubai, winning the DP World Tour Championship in 2018 and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic two years earlier, just two months before he slipped on the Masters Green Jacket at Augusta National.
“It’s always a pleasure to play in Dubai so hats off to everyone involved in adding this new event to the schedule,” said Willett. “I’ve won a couple of times in Dubai so I jumped at the opportunity of playing another tournament there. The facilities are world class and second to none.
“We’re all very familiar with the Earth course as that hosts the DP World Tour Championship but the Fire course will bring a fresh challenge to us players and it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
Westwood and Willett will be joined in the field by fellow Rolex Series winners including Aaron Rai of England, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, as well as a host of stars who are looking to add to previous wins in Dubai.
Up and coming Australian Lucas Herbert made his European Tour breakthrough at the Dubai Desert Classic this season will be playing the Fire Course along with 2018 winner Li Haotong of China, Scottish Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher — the only man to win back to back Dubai Desert Classic titles — and victorious 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn, who famously beat then world No. 1 Tiger Woods to the same title in 2001.
The field will also include a number of winners on the 2020 Race to Dubai, including rising Danish star Rasmus Hojgaard, American John Catlin and young Englishman Sam Horsfield — all of whom have two titles to their name this season — Spanish pair Jorge Campillo and Adrian Otaegui, Finland’s Sami Valimaki, Italian Renato Paratore and 2019 Rookie of the Year Robert MacIntyre.
“Dubai is a great destination for golf and I’m excited to get out there, enjoy the warm weather, use the world-class facilities and play back-to-back weeks on two fantastic courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates,” said Hojgaard, who topped the UK Swing’s mini Order of Merit earlier this season.
“The Golf in Dubai Championship will be my first event since the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown so I can’t wait to get going and hopefully end my rookie season on a high.”