First day of Hero Dubai Desert Classic closed to public due to weather concerns

Heavy rain expected in UAE on Thursday although organisers hopeful that fans will be back at Emirates Golf Club on Friday

Rory McIlroy during a practice round for Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Golf on Wednesday, January 2023. EPA
Powered by automated translation

Organisers of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic have announced that Thursday's opening round will be closed to the public due to the potential threat of heavy rain.

Action at the Emirates Golf Club is expected to tee-off on Thursday morning but will be open only to players, caddies, officials and the media.

It is hoped fans will be able allowed back on to the course for the start of Round 2 on Friday but spectators are being advised to check official social channels @dubaidcgolf for the latest updates.

This year’s line-up is headlined by world No 1 and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who won his first professional victory at the tournament in 2009.

Also in action will be Victor Perez, fresh from Sunday’s dramatic win in Abu Dhabi, as well as European Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton and Francesco Molinari.

Last year's tournament was won by Viktor Hovland who defeated Richard Bland in a play-off with McIlroy finishing third.

Updated: January 27, 2023, 5:10 AM