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Dubai Desert Classic

An Iconic City

An Iconic Event

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Dubai Desert Classic

Slync.io becomes new title sponsor of the Dubai Desert Classic

The European Tour today announced Slync.io as the new title sponsor of the Dubai Desert Classic, with the iconic event becoming part of the Rolex Series for the first time in 2022.

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A LOOK BACK

Past Champions

The Dubai Desert Classic has a proud tradition of bringing the game’s top golfers to Dubai, including 11 different Major champions.

2021 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Paul Casey
ENG 67-70-64-70 271

2021

2020 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Lucas Herbert
AUS 69-71-71-68 279

2020

2019 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Bryson DeChambeau
USA 66-66-68-64 264

2019

2018 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Haotong Li
CHN 66-66-64-69 265

2018

2017 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Sergio Garcia
ESP 65-67-68-69 269

2017

2016 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willet
ENG 70-65-65-69. 269

2016

2015 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy
NIR 66-64-66-70. 266

2015

2014 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Stephen Gallacher
SCO 66-71-63-72. 272

2014

2013 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Stephen Gallacher
SCO 63-70-62-71 266

2013

2012 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Rafael Cabrera-Bello
ESP 63-69-70-68 270

2012

2011 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Alvaro Quiros
ESP 73-68-68-68. 277

2011

2010 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Miguel Angel Jimenez
ESP 70-67-68-72. 277

2010

2009 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy
NIR 64-68-67-70. 269

2009

2008 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Tiger Woods
USA 65-71-73-65. 274

2008

2007 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Henrik Stenson
SWE 68-64-69-68. 269

2007

2006 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Tiger Woods
USA 67-66-67-69. 269

2006

2005 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Ernie Els
RSA 66-68-67-68. 269

2005

2004 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Mark O’Meara
USA 70-64-68-69. 271

2004

2003 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Robert-Jan Derksen
NLD 67-72-67-65. 271

2003

2002 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Ernie Els
RSA 68-68-67-69. 272

2002

2001 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Thomas Bjørn
DK 64-66-67-69. 266

2001

2000 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Jose Coceres
ARG 64-69-68-73. 274

2000

1999 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

David Howell
ENG 69-68-71-67. 275

1999

1998 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Jose Maria Olazabal
ESP 69-67-65-68. 269

1998

1997 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Richard Green
AUS 70-68-66-68. 272

1997

1996 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Colin Montgomerie
SCO 67-68-67-68. 270

1996

1995 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Fred Couples
USA 65-69-68-66. 268

1995

1994 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Ernie Els
RSA 61-69-67-71. 268

1994

1993 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Wayne Westner
RSA 69-66-69-70. 274

1993

1992 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Seve Ballesteros
ESP 66-67-69-70. 272

1992

1990 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Eamon Darcy
IRE 64-68-75-69. 276

1990

1989 Champion - Dubai Desert Classic

Mark James
ENG 69-68-72-68. 277

1989

FROM 1989

History

Rich in heritage

The Dubai Desert Classic was born in 1989 and is regarded as one of the European Tour’s most historic events that has helped to pave the way for golf's presence in the Middle East and create some of the most iconic moments in golf history.

Promoted and organised by Falcon and Associates, the tournament is fondly referred to as the ‘Major of the Middle East,’ because of its legacy and world-class field that it attracts every year.

The roll of honour includes 11 different Major champions. They are: Seve Ballesteros (1992), Ernie Els (1994, 02, 05), Fred Couples (1995), José Maria Olazábal (1998), Mark O’Meara (2004), Tiger Woods (2006, 08), Rory McIlroy (2009, 15), Henrik Stenson (2007), Danny Willett (2016), Sergio Garcia (2017) and Bryson DeChambeau (2019). Between them, they have won 35 Major championships.

South African great Els has played 16 times on the Majlis course. In that time, he has recorded three victories and nine top threes. Of his 58 rounds on the Majlis course he is a total of 188 under par. Els set the current course record of 61 (-11) on the opening day in 1994, which contained a European Tour record of 12 birdies in a single round.

McIlroy, who was forced to pull out in 2017 because of a rib injury, is now 118 under par for his last eight appearances on the Majlis course that have yielded a first in 2009, sixth in 2010, tenth in 2011, fifth in 2012, ninth in 2014, first in 2015, sixth in 2016 and second in 2018. At 19 years and 273 days, McIlroy became the youngest winner of the Desert Classic in 2009, beating the previous record of England’s David Howell, who had won the 1999 edition when he was 23 years and 236 days old.

Since making his first visit to Dubai in 2001, Woods has won the tournament twice. He is 87-under-par for the 29 rounds that he has played on the Majlis course. The former world number one was forced to pull out in 2017 because of a back problem just before the start of his second round.

1989
MAKING A MARK
The Dubai Desert Classic becomes the first tournament in the European Tour’s history to be played in the Middle East or Asia. Mark James walks into the history books, becoming the first golfer to inscribe his name on the trophy.
1990
ACE IN THE PACK
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez records the first hole-in-one in the tournament’s history, holing out on the 4th but Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy lands the overall honours with a 4-shot victory.
1992
SEVE MAGIC
The great Seve Ballesteros is two off pace with six to play on the final day, single putts each of the remaining holes to force a play-off with playing partner Ronan Rafferty, which he wins thanks to a 15-foot birdie on the second play-off hole
1993
WAYNE’S WORLD
South Africa’s Wayne Westner becomes the first non-European winner and posts his first European Tour win, seeing off a determined challenge from compatriot Retief Goosen and defending champion Seve Ballesteros.
1994
COURSE RECORD
Ernie Els shoots a sizzling 11-under 61 in the first round, highlighted by 12 birdies and just 21 putts, en route to his first European Tour success. This course record still stands, 20 years on. The affable South African since progressed to become the only three-time winner of the event.
1995
CLASSIC COUPLES
Fred Couples becomes the first American to win in Dubai. Stunning approach shots to set up tap-in birdies on the 9th and 12th highlight his victory after he missed the cut the previous year.
1996
MONTY MIRACLE
Colin Montgomerie secures victory thanks to his European Tour ‘Shot of the Year’ – a 265-yard driver off the fairway on the closing hole, setting up a two-putt birdie and a place on the roll of honour.
1997
GREEN GIANT
Richard Green beats two greats – Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam – in a play-off to become the first ‘lefty’ to land the title.
1998
COURAGEOUS OLLY
Suffering from pharyngitis, Jose Maria Olazabal survived on yoghurt and fruit juice, but this failed to prevent the courageous Spaniard from going the full distance. Three off the pace going into the final round, Olazabal closes with a 69 to hold off Stephen Allan, Ernie Els and overnight leader Robert Karlsson.
1999
HOWELL ON A HIGH
The change of tournament venue to Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club produces a win for David Howell as he holds his nerve to win by a four from a surging Lee Westwood.
2000
COCERES WINDFALL
Jose Coceres of Argentina, who won $50,000 for his hole-in-one in 1992, lands the big one with a two-shot win.
2001
BJORN TO WIN
With a return to its original home, Thomas Bjørn displays a granite resolve to complement his huge talent to beat the world No 1. Plays all four days in the company of Tiger Woods who debuts in the Middle East. Bjorn’s 22-under par total is still a record – held jointly with Stephen Gallacher (2013) and Rory McIlroy (2015).
2002
WHO ELS!
Ernie Els goes one better than Montgomerie’s 1996 Miracle Shot when he blasts a four-iron through the trees on the 18th hole on the second day to 30 feet. The resulting eagle sets the tone for the weekend and a four-shot win, his second in Dubai.
2003
DUTCH DELIGHT
Ernie Els almost makes the first successful defence in tournament history but can’t get up and down on the last, handing the title to Robert-Jan Derksen, who is almost 600 places behind him in world rankings.
2004
AGELESS
Tiger Woods returns, but it is his friend and mentor Mark O’Meara, who seals victory thanks to a stunning wedge to eight feet on the closing hole. Becomes the oldest champion at age 47.
2005
ELS’ EAGLE
Ernie Els overturns a one-shot deficit on the final hole, rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt to edge out Stephen Dodd and Miguel Angel Jimenez for his third win in Dubai.
2006
TIGER TIME
The inevitable finally happens with Tiger Woods inscribing his name on the trophy at his third attempt. Two behind with two to play, he drives the 17th for birdie and picks up another shot on the 18th to force a play-off with Ernie Els where a par is enough to claim victory.
2007
SWEDE SUCCESS
Playing all four rounds in the company of three-time champion, Ernie Els, Dubai resident Henrik Stenson birdies the final hole to edge out his celebrated playing partner and pre- tournament favourite Tiger Woods.
2008
STUNNING COMEBACK
Five shots adrift going to the back nine, Tiger Woods produces an amazing birdie blitz and seals the title when he converts a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
2009
RORY GLORY
Rory McIlroy records his first European Tour victory and first win on a major tour, aged 19 years when he gets up and down from the greenside bunker on the closing hole for the par he needs to edge past Justin Rose.
2010
NERVY FINISH
Evergreen Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez courageously edges out European No 1 Lee Westwood at the third play-off hole after the pair had topped the leaderboard at 11-under par, 1 shot clear of Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
2011
ACES GALORE
The event, won by Alvaro Quiros, witnesses four holes-in-one, all in separate rounds, including one by the winner on the final day.
2012
MORE SPANISH GLORY
A scintillating 63 in the opening round sets up victory for Rafa Cabrera Bello. Records the third consecutive Spanish win and fifth overall.
2013
EAGLES FLY
Stephen Gallacher of Scotland holes his approach to the par-4 16th on the final day for his fifth eagle of the week to hold off Richard Sterne and win his second European Tour title after a nine-year wait.
2014
SUCCESSFUL DEFENCE
After blowing a two-shot overnight lead, Scotland’s Gallacher made four birdies down the stretch en route to a 72 to finish 16 under and become the first player to successfully defend the Desert Classic on the event’s 25th anniversary.
2015
ROARING FEAT
A good four shots ahead overnight, Rory McIlroy closed with a 70 to win his second Desert Classic on 22-under 266 total that matched the lowest score in the history of the tournament, set by Stephen Gallacher in 2013 and Thomas Bjørn in 2001.
2016
CLUTCH PUTT
England’s Danny Willett closes with a 69, highlighted by a pressure-packed 15-feet birdie putt on the closing hole, to finish 19-under par, winning his first Desert Classic, one shot ahead of compatriot Andy Sullivan and playing partner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
2017
SERGIO STORM
Sergio Garcia completes a wire-to-wire three-shot win over Open champion Henrik Stenson after a closing 69, becoming the sixth Spaniard to win the tournament which saw high winds gusting in excess of 60 kmph, force suspension of play on Friday after the tournament top-draws Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (after round one) were forced to pull out through injury.
2018
AN ASIAN FIRST
China’s Haotong Li birdied four of his last six holes to beat Rory McIlroy by one shot and become the first Asian winner of the event with a record score of 23-under-par.
2019
THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL WIN
Bryson DeChambeau dominates in Dubai for first International win closing 8-under-par 64 to set a tournament record. His 24-under 264 total for a seven-shot win bettered by one the 72-hole record Haotong Li set last year.
2020
AUSTRALIA DAY TRIUMPH
The high winds and rain didn’t deter Lucas Herbert who proved the most resilient, triumphing in the first extended Desert Classic in a decade to play-off against Christiaan Bezuidenhout. The 24-year-old from Bendigo, Victoria, clinched the title on Australian Day making his achievement all the more remarkable.
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