If you don’t know much about Dubai, this is one of the seven states that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as an important tourist
destination. Visitors to this city find the place excitingly attractive and bustling with activities. Mega construction projects are going on all over the
city, most of which are either the “first” or the “best” in their respective categories.
Adding to Dubai’s popularity are the many sporting events it holds. And these are not just ordinary sporting events; they’re Dubai sports events – considered
the richest, again, in their respective categories. The Dubai World Cup, for example, is considered the richest horse race in the world. The Dubai Tennis
Championship, on the other hand, is an important tournament where the biggest names in tennis participate.
Another one of the biggest Dubai sports events is the Dubai Desert Classic. This is a professional golf tournament held annually at the Emirates Golf Club.
But first, let’s look back at how the Dubai Desert Classic started.
In 1986, the plan for constructing a world-class golf course in Dubai was approved. The plan became a reality a couple years later, when the Emirates Golf
Club was completed. Soon after, the “Majilis” course was created at the Emirates Golf Club. It is in this par-72, 7,301-yard course where the Dubai Desert
Classic is being held every year since (the 1999 and 2000 editions of the tournament, though, was held at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club).
The tournament’s format is known as the “stroke play.” This is a scoring system in which the total number of strokes taken on each hole during the series of
rounds is counted. The player with the least number of strokes for the rounds wins the tournament.
Since its inauguration in 1989 (then known as the Karl Litten Desert Classic), the Dubai Desert Classic has been part of the European Tour timetable. The
tournament was likewise the first European Tour event to be held in the Middle East. The following year (1990) the tournament was called the Emirates
Airlines Desert Classic.
Dubai Desert Classic became the official name of the tournament beginning in the 1992 edition, which was won by Severiano “Seve” Ballesteros Sota of Spain.
Past winners of the Dubai Desert Classic were as follows:
• 1993 – Wayne Brett Westner of South Africa
• 1994 – Theodore Ernest “Ernie” Els of South Africa
• 1995 – Frederick “Fred” Steven Couples of the United States
• 1996 – Colin Stuart Montgomerie of Scotland
• 1997 – Richard George Green of Australia
• 1998 – Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain
• 1999 – David Alexander Howell of England
• 2000 – Jose Eusebio Coceres of Argentina
• 2001 – Thomas Bjorn of Denmark
• 2002 – Theodore Ernest “Ernie” Els of South Africa
• 2003 – Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands
• 2004 – Mark Francis O’Meara of the United States
• 2005 – Theodore Ernest “Ernie” Els of South Africa
• 2006 – Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods of the United States
• 2007 – Henrik Stenson of Sweden
• 2008 – Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods of the United States
• 2009 – Rory Mcllroy of Northern Ireland.
Ernie Els and Tiger Woods, both big names in golf, were the most successful participants thus far in this tournament. The Dubai Desert Classic has a purse of
2.5 million US dollars.