Dubai - city and event - grows into European Tour favorite

By Rex HoggardJanuary 27, 2014, 3:00 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Amid the towering skyscrapers that are a testament to forward thinking, officials at this week’s Dubai Desert Classic have taken a different view of this year’s event and embraced the past.

The event, which was the European Tour’s first foray into the Middle East, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, bringing back all 20 of the 21 surviving past winners to play the tournament and Tuesday’s Champions Challenge, including multiple winner Tiger Woods.

For those who have made the Middle East stop a staple in their schedules it’s a chance to celebrate one of golf’s truly unique stops.

“I remember the crazy chaotic mayhem as soon as I stepped foot out of the airport,” said Paul Casey, who first played the event in 2004 and in six starts has finished outside the top 20 just once. “It’s brilliant. Taxis everywhere, I loved it. It has a buzz about it.”

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Golf fans have gotten used to seeing the towering buildings that now frame Emirates Golf Club, but it wasn’t always that way. When the event was first played in 1989 the urban sprawl that now rings the course was little more than an endless desert.

“I never missed one until I retired in 2006,” recalled Mark Roe, a former European Tour player who now splits his time as a television golf analyst and short game coach. “Every year there were more new buildings and each was bigger than the last one. It became a sci-fi movie.”

The event also proved to be something of a stepping off point for the European Tour to what has become a global schedule and is still considered one of the circuit’s most-anticipated events.

“This event has the history in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi has certainly progressed very, very quickly and become kind of the favorite of the Middle East swing, however, this golf course is the best that we play,” Casey said.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.