THE EUROPEAN TOUR is in the third and final week of its Middle East swing with the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.
Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello is the defending champion and faces stiff opposition in attempting to be the first player ever to win the title back-to-back.
One of his hurdles is fellow countryman Sergio Garcia, who was in fine form in Qatar last week, narrowly missing out on an 11th European Tour title when eventual winner Chris Wood made a spectacular eagle at the last to deny both he and South Africa’s George Coetzee a play-off chance.
“I do like the course,” he reflected on his sixth visit to the Emirates course. “I’ve played okay for the most part here so I’m looking forward to it. Obviously coming off a good week last week I’m hoping to keep those good feelings going and hopefully I’ll have another chance on the weekend like I did last week.”
Making his 2013 debut out the event is England’s Lee Westwood. Westwood is determined to win his first Major this year and is hopeful his recent move to the US will be a big factor.
“I played a lot more this winter than I would normally play,” said the World No.8. “There’s no rust. The main reason for moving to Florida was to get more games of golf because I wouldn’t play normally when I’m at home because of the weather.
“Last week I had shorts on and was out playing with Luke Donald. Living in England I’ve always finished the year, gone home, packed the clubs away and came back out trying to catch everyone else. My short game is sharper from being out there, especially my putting.”
Aussie golfers competing in Dubai include Marcus Fraser, Brett Rumford, Andrew Dodt, Daniel Gaunt and Richard Green.
The Dubai Desert Classic will have live television coverage in Australian on Fox Sports beginning Thursday 8.30 pm to 12.30 am Thusday (Check guides).
2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic Leaderboard2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic Leaderboard