Last year, American Chris DiMarco appeared in a European Tour event for the first time outside the majors and World Golf Championship events. It was a worthwhile trip, too, as he walked away with the title. DiMarco closed with rounds of 67-63-67 to win by one stroke over Henrik Stenson.
DiMarco has his work cut out if he hopes to repeat as champion. Among those in the field this week will be 2006 Order of Merit champion Padraig Harrington as well as World Nos. 8 and 13 Retief Goosen and Stenson.
The field boasts five of the top-15 players in the world rankings and 22 winners from the European Tour's 2006 International Schedule.
Joining that stellar field will be Notah Begay III, a newcomer to the European Tour. Begay, a former teammate of Tiger Woods at Stanford and PGA TOUR regular, earned his European Tour playing privileges via Qualifying School in November.
The Golf Channel has four days of coverage of this event as well.
Next week, the tour remains in the Persian Gulf region for the Qatar Masters, where Stenson was victorious last year.