South African Ernie Els has confirmed his entry to March’s Dubai Desert Classic, joining world number one Tiger Woods in the field.
The tournament offers prize money to the winner of €283,000, and the involvement of Els will ensure Woods has serious competition, while the announcement comes at an opportune time given that ticket sales begin in early January.
“With Ernie Els and Tiger Woods in the line-up I think it’s safe to say that the tournament will be the biggest and best in it’s 15-year history,” said Mohammed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the organising committee, on the tournament’s official site www.dubaidesertclassic.com.
“It seems fitting they should come together in Dubai in a year when we celebrate our 15th anniversary and offer the largest prize money fund in the Classic’s history.”
Els is the only man to have won two Desert Classic titles, in 1994 and 2002, and he holds the course record with a 61.
He said: “I think everyone knows I love playing in Dubai.
“The people there know how to organise and run a great tournament and the course is one of the best on the European Tour.
“I like the lines off the tees and the greens are quite soft so if you get your ball up, you can shoot some good scores.”