Yet another successful Omega Dubai Desert Classic has come and gone, bringing to a close the ‘Desert Swing’ for another season. Golf in Dubai did a fantastic job yet again of putting together a world-class tournament. Even the weather played along, allowing golf fans to have four days of fantastic sunshine watching the best golfers in the world do battle for the trophy. The Dubai Desert Classic started in 1989, and this year marked the 23rd playing of the tournament (no tournament was played in 1991). The list of past champions may be found here.
Day 1 started in blistering fashion with an opening round of 63 from Rafael Cabrera-Bello. That set the stage for some excellent golf for the remainder of the tournament. The tournament favorites were not too far behind, with Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer making their presence felt after Round 1. Day 1 concluded with a golf clinic hosted by Fred Couples and Mark O’Meara, both previous winners of the Dubai Desert Classic. Mark O’Meara is also a ‘Golf in Dubai’ ambassador. It is always great to see major champions gracing a tournament of such high stature. Golf in Dubai has done a superb job of securing top ambassadors to support the cause of golf in the United Arab Emirates.
Day 2 concluded with a cut of -1, allowing 81 players to make it into the weekend. It was great to see all Golf in Dubai ambassadors (Mark O’Meara, Thomas Bjorn, Soren Hansen, Jeev Milkha Singh and Noh Seung-Yul) making the cut, a reflection of the quality of player chosen by the organizers to represent their organization.
Day 3, the second day of the weekend in Dubai, saw the biggest crowds of the week. Spectators took the opportunity to follow the World Numbers 2, 3 and 4 in large numbers, only too pleased to welcome them back to the prestigious tournament.
Day 4 promised to be an exciting final round, with Westwood leading and McIlroy and Kaymer close behind. As it turns out, the Dubai Desert Classic was, for the third year in a row, won by a Spaniard. Following victories by Miguel-Angel Jimenez in 2010 and Alvaro Quiros in 2011, Rafael Cabrera-Bello won the 2012 tournament. I was pleased to be able to meet him at the end of round 3 – a nice fellow indeed, and a well-deserved victory. Follow him on Twitter here if you like.
WELL DONE to the organizers, Golf in Dubai, for a fantastic 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and a special words of thanks to them for arranging hospitality tickets for Aletta and me for all four days, including clubhouse access and special parking. Thank you guys – hope to see you at the DP World Tour Championship – Dubai in November, otherwise at the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
All golf fans in Dubai now look forward to the DP World Tour Championship – Dubai, where I once again plan to volunteer as a TV scorer, as I did during the 2011 Dubai World Championship (article here, unless another organization would like to offer me some corporate hospitality tickets?). J