Two-time European No 1 Lee Westwood and major champions Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett are among a host of names confirmed for the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World next month.
The event, announced earlier this month, will take place on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, beginning a European Tour double-header at the site that concludes with the DP World Tour Championship, the Race to Dubai finale. The Golf in Dubai Championship runs from December 2-5 and carries a prize fund of $1.2 million.
Winner of the inaugural Race to Dubai - the Order of Merit was rebranded in 2009 - Westwood will be out for yet more success in the UAE. The Englishman, 47, triumphed at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January to secure a 25th European Tour title. The Order of Merit winner also in 2000, he is currently fourth in the season-long standings.
Westwood will be joined at the Golf in Dubai Championship by fellow Race to Dubai champion Kaymer. The 2010 victor, a two-time major winner, is no stranger to the UAE having captured the Abu Dhabi crown three times.
Willett, meanwhile, prevailed at the 2018 DP World Tour Championship to end more than two-and-a-half years without a victory. In 2016, he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic before going on to add the Masters two months later.
“It’s always a pleasure to play in Dubai, so hats off to everyone involved in adding this new event to the schedule,” Willett said. “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.”
As of yet, it has not been confirmed if Patrick Reed or Tommy Fleetwood, currently No 1 and No 2 on the Race to Dubai respectively, would be competing in Dubai next month.
On Sunday, 2018 Masters champion Reed finished tied-10th at Augusta National to extend his lead at the Race to Dubai summit, while Fleetwood came home in a tie for 19th. The Englishman, a two-time Abu Dhabi champion, has not finished outside the top three in the seasonal rankings in each of the past three seasons, winning the trophy in 2017. Reed was second to Francesco Molinari the following year.
A number of Rolex Series winners will take part in Dubai, including England’s Aaron Rai, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello. Thomas Bjorn, Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup captain, is also teeing it up at Jumeirah Golf Estates, as is fellow Dane and rising star Rasmus Hojgaard.
Given current public health guidelines, attendance at both events will be for invited guests only. Dubai Sports channel will provide daily coverage.