Last week provided an exciting finish to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters with Chris Wood coming to the par 5 18th one behind the leaders and needing a birdie to force a playoff, he hit his 2nd into 10ft and showing no nervous he rolled it in for eagle to finish one ahead of Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee. What a way to pick up your first European Tour victory. Can he finish off the Desert Swing with another victory at this weeks Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is the oldest of the 3 events in the region having first been played in 1989. Except for the 1999 and 2000 editions, which were held at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, it has been played on the “Majlis” course at the Emirates Golf Club. The tournament has always attracted a host of top players, including Tiger Woods who has competed on 6 different occasions with two victories.
Over the years there have been 24 hole in ones and the tournament holds the interesting fact that it is the only tournament in European Tour history to have had a hole in one achieved in each of the four rounds in 2011. With David Howell, Keith Horne, Raphael Jacquelin and the champion that year Alvaro Quiros recorded his in the fourth round on the 11th hole on the way to a one shot victory.
Thomas Bjorn holds the record of lowest winning score of -22 which he set on the way to a two shot victory over Tiger Woods in 2001, but undoubtedly the most successful player of this tournament is South African Ernie Els who has notched up 3 victories as well as 3 runners up spots. He also holds the largest 18 hole, 36 hole and 54 hole leads as well as the largest winning margin, all of which came in 1994 when he won wire to wire, he also holds the course record of 61 which he shot in the opening round of the 1994 event.
George Coetzee is on a rich vein of form currently and has 3 top 10’s in 4 starts and he showed last week that he is getting closer to his maiden victory and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this is his week. Last week in Qatar he came out number one in all the putting stats as well as being number 2 in driving distance and if he can continue this onto this week he will have a great chance to be holding the trophy on Sunday night.