Hovland & Imahira Add Star Power To OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic

14 January 2020

Stronger field than 12 months ago will see emerging stars from Norway and Japan join Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, at Emirates GC from 23-26 January

Two of international golf’s most promising young talents, Viktor Hovland and Shugo Imahira, will make their first appearance at the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic when they arrive at Emirates GC later this month, lining up against a host of Major Champions, Ryder Cup players and serial European Tour winners.

They will be joined in the UAE by the more experienced Charl Schwartzel, himself a former Masters winner, who will head to the event looking to build some momentum after an injury-hit 2019. Schwartzel, who has struggled with a wrist injury for much of the last year will arrive in Dubai looking to rediscover the form that has seen him claim 11 victories on Europe’s top tier, including at the 2011 Masters. Schwartzel adds to South Africa’s rich heritage in the event and will be looking to emulate his fellow countryman and past champions Ernie Els and Wayne Westner in getting his hands on the Dallah trophy.

This year’s OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic boasts a stronger field than 12 months ago thanks to the return of defending Champion Bryson DeChambeau, alongside former tournament champions Thomas Bjørn, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Haotong Li, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett. This is in addition to the likes of multiple European Tour winners Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, plus European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington.

Already well on his way to establishing himself amongst those marquee names is Hovland, who will excite local fans with an aggressive approach that yielded a record-breaking run of scoring on the US PGA Tour last year. The 22-year old Norwegian shot 19 straight rounds in the 60s from June to October, posting a highest finish of fourth at the Wyndham Championship during that run, which confirmed his credentials as one of golf’s hottest prospects.

“I’ve spent the last few years playing mostly in America, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to come to Dubai,” said the Norwegian, who will be eyeing a potential European Ryder Cup debut later this year. “One of the great things since turning professional has been playing so many events and courses that I have watched growing up as a kid and the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic is no different. There have been so many iconic moments there and I can’t think of a better place to kickstart 2020 than at Emirates GC in a couple of weeks.”

Similarly, Imahira will arrive in Dubai looking to add to his burgeoning international resume following several successful campaigns on his native Japan Golf Tour. Four wins in the last two seasons, including two in the last three months, has seen the 27-year old rise as high as 31st in the Official World Golf Ranking, making the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic the perfect opportunity to see one of world golf’s best new stars up close.

“I’m excited to be coming to Dubai for the first time to make my European Tour debut,” said Imahira, who won the Japan Golf Tour Money List in 2018. “I have not played much outside of Japan, so this is a great opportunity to see how my game shapes up next to some of the world’s best players. I have also heard amazing things about this event and Dubai as a destination, so I cannot wait to experience everything later this month.”

With the four-day event set to be bigger and better than ever, now is the perfect time to book daily, season or Terrace Hospitality tickets with prices starting from AED75.

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, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie and Tiger Woods.

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


About the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic
The OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, often referred to as the “Major of the Middle East”, is among the most highly anticipated golfing events; showcasing seasoned talent from around the world and attracting up and coming stars of tomorrow. Past champions include last year’s winner Bryson DeChambeau, Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The 31st edition will take place from 23-26 January 2020, with much more to celebrate on and off the course. Enhancements to the F&B offer take inspiration from around the world, alongside the addition of contemporary art and live entertainment, that that will make this event a great day out for golfers and non-golfers alike.

Tournament Owner
Falcon and Associates’ remit is to respond to strategic Dubai initiatives and own/operate commercially viable world-class events that further position Dubai as an innovative and tolerant global centre of excellence. Both the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic are organised and promoted by Falcon.

Tournament partners
OMEGA, renowned for its innovative watchmaking, is title sponsor of both the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic. Through its association with many of the world’s most high-profile competitions, organisations and players, OMEGA is committed to supporting the game’s rising stars and introducing golf to a new generation of fans.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), founding partner of the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, is the world’s largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer and the biggest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas. EGA’s long term support for the tournament demonstrates their corporate commitment to the socio-economic development of the UAE as well as to promoting the country internationally.
Other partners: BMW, CNN, JA Resorts & Hotels, Wasl and Emirates NBD

Patrons of the event are: Motivate Media Group, Byrne Equipment Rental, The National and Dubai Duty Free


Pansy Gonsalvez - Head of Golf Central
Emirates Golf Club
Tel: +971 (0) 4 205 4520
Fax: +971 (0) 4 380 2011
Email: pgonsalvez@dubaigolf.com
Website: www.dubaigolf.com