Sunday, January 03, 2010

Tom Watson accepts invitation
to play in Omega Dubai Desert
Classic early next month

Eight-time Major Championship winner and World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson will headline a star-cast at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club from February 1 - 7.
The 60 year old American will make a rare appearance among The European Tour’s leading players as he looks to rekindle the magic that saw him finish runner-up to Stewart Cink in The 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry.
Watson showed he can still give the big-hitting younger generation players a run for their money when he led The Open Championship going down the last hole at Turnberry but a closing bogey prevented him from becoming the oldest winner of The Claret Jug at the age of 59.
Cink went on to win the ensuing play-off and deny Watson a record-equalling sixth Open Championship, at the venue of his epic “Duel in the Sun” with Jack Nicklaus in 1977, but Watson’s performance will live long in the memory.
From the time he won the Kansas City Match Play championship aged 14, Watson went on to win The Open Championship five times; the Masters Tournament twice, and the US Open Championship once. He led the PGA Tour in wins six years, in money five years, in scoring three years. He was PGA Tour Player of the Year six times.
He will look to write another piece of history around Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis course when he attempts to become the oldest winner of the huge Omega Dubai Desert Classic trophy, replacing Mark O’Meara who took the title in 2004, aged 47 years and 54 days.
Watson is already looking forward to what could be an intriguing battle in the sun.
He said: “I am anxious to visit Dubai since I have heard so many good things about it. Additionally, I am looking forward to playing in a city that seems to be making good progress as a golfing destination, possibly due in part to the success of the Dubai Desert Classic.
“I am very appreciative of the invitation to compete in this tournament. The tournament has attracted some of the best golfers in the world and the winner’s list is quite impressive. I would be very proud and pleased to be able to add my name to that list. Again, my thanks to the organisers of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the sponsors for giving me the opportunity to compete.”.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, the promoters and organisers of the $2.5 million event, said: “We are indeed delighted to have a player of the stature and calibre of Tom Watson in the field. His presence will be a source of inspiration for many youngsters who aim to take up golf as career.”
“Tom is a great player we all know, and if you look at his work in raising funds for ALS-related causes and other charities it shows he is an even better human being. I wish Tom a pleasant stay and hopes he returns home with fond memories of the city.”



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