The Asian Tour’s top-three players, American David Lipsky, Anirban Lahiri of India and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, will headline the inaugural Dubai Open next week alongside 30 other Tour champions and four former Order of Merit winners.
The US$500,000 tournament will make its debut at The Els Club Dubai from December 18 to 21, marking the Asian Tour’s first foray to Dubai which many believe is a positive development for the region’s premier Tour.
The season-ending tournament next week will crown the new Asian Tour number one which Lipsky could wrap it all up at the on-going Thailand Golf Championship this week but for the likes of second-ranked Lahiri and third-ranked Prom, winning the Dubai Open would certainly be the icing on the cake for a memorable season.
Former Asian number ones Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who has also won twice this season to raise his career tally to a record 18 titles, and Indian trio Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and a resurgent Jyoti Randhawa will also be at The Els Club Dubai hunting for the Dubai Open crown.
The tenacious Lahiri has already won twice this season in Indonesia and Macau and with Official World Ranking Points available in Dubai, the 27-year-old Indian is keen to sign off his year on a winning note to give himself a chance of breaking into the world’s top-50, which will come with an invitation to the Masters Tournament in April.
Currently at 71st in the world, Lahiri said: “It’s good we have a new tournament in Dubai and I’m definitely looking forward to going there, play some good golf and ending the year on a high.
“Depending on what happens, there’s the Order of Merit title to play for and also world ranking points. I want to break into the top-50 by the end of the year and there’s definitely going to be lots of motivation going into the last event in Dubai.
It has already been a very eventful year for me on the Asian Tour and a good result in Dubai would simply top it off.”
Thailand’s Prom, who ended an eight-year title drought with a victory in Taipei in September, is looking forward to the newest tournament on the Asian Tour.
“It has been a good season for me and I’m going to try my best in Dubai. I’ve played in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic before and it’s a nice place to visit. I heard the weather is going to be cooler this time of the year and it’ll be good to have our last event there.
“It’s great for the Asian Tour to return to the Middle East as it has been some time. I’ve been playing well this season and I look forward to ending the year with a good result in Dubai.”
Other top Asian Tour stars heading to Dubai next week include this season’s winners Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Australian Marcus Both, Englishman Steve Lewton, India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia and Rashid Khan, who is one of the season’s revelations following two victories this year in India and Thailand.
Filipino star Angelo Que, sixth on the Order of Merit, will also be in the elite field alongside Major champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Englishman David Howell, who is a multiple champion in Europe.
The Dubai Open is promoted and organised by golf in DUBAi.
The Els Club Dubai is situated within the sprawling Dubai Sports City where the par-72 course combines links style golf with traditional ‘classical era’ design. Opened for play in 2008, the course stretches 7,538 yards and was named as ‘Best New International Course’ by prestigious US magazine, Links, and “Best New Facility of the Year” by Troon Golf.