European PGA Tour

PGA European - Omega Dubai Desert Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, January 29th through Sunday, February 1st
SITE: Emirates Golf Club (Majlis course), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
COURSE ARCHITECT: Karl Litten (1988)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,327
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 458 Yds10 - Par 5 549 Yds
2 - Par 4 351 Yds11 - Par 3 169 Yds
3 - Par 5 568 Yds12 - Par 4 467 Yds
4 - Par 3 188 Yds13 - Par 5 550 Yds
5 - Par 4 451 Yds14 - Par 4 434 Yds
6 - Par 4 485 Yds15 - Par 3 190 Yds
7 - Par 3 186 Yds16 - Par 4 436 Yds
8 - Par 4 459 Yds17 - Par 4 359 Yds
9 - Par 4 463 Yds18 - Par 5 564 Yds
35 3,609 Yds37 3,718 Yds
Annual:  26th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-8:30 a.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 4-8 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Stephen Gallacher
Runner-Up:  Emiliano Grillo
Tournament Record:  266 (Thomas Bjorn, 2001; Stephen Gallacher, 2013)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Stephen Gallacher, 2013)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Tiger Woods, 2001)
Course Record:  61 (Ernie Els, 1994)
Total Purse:  $2,650,000
Share:  1st Place - $441,660; 2nd Place - $294,440; 3rd Place - $165,890
2014 Finish
Stephen Gallacher272Mikko Ilonen275
Emiliano Grillo273Robert Rock275
Romain Wattel274Thorbjorn Olesen275
Brooks Koepka274Four players at276
Steve Webster275
Past Omega Dubai Desert Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Stephen Gallacher (272) -- Emiliano Grillo
2013Stephen Gallacher (266) -- Richard Sterne
2012Rafa Cabrera-Bello (270) -- Stephen Gallacher, Lee Westwood
2011Alvaro Quiros (277) -- Anders Hansen, James Kingston
2010*Miguel Angel Jimenez (277) -- Lee Westwood
2009Rory McIlroy (269) -- Justin Rose
2008Tiger Woods (274) -- Martin Kaymer
2007Henrik Stenson (269) -- Ernie Els
2006*Tiger Woods (269) -- Ernie Els
2005Ernie Els (269) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez, Stephen Dodd
2004Mark O'Meara (271) -- Paul McGinley
2003Robert-Jan Derksen (271) -- Ernie Els
2002Ernie Els (272) -- Niclas Fasth
2001Thomas Bjorn (266) -- Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington
2000Jose Coceres (274) -- Patrik Sjoland, Paul McGinley
1999David Howell (275) -- Lee Westwood
1998Jose Maria Olazabal (269) -- Stephen Allan
1997*Richard Green (272) -- Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam
1996Colin Montgomerie (270) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
1995Fred Couples (268) -- Colin Montgomerie
1994Ernie Els (268) -- Greg Norman
1993Wayne Westner (274) -- Retief Goosen
1992*Seve Ballesteros (272) -- Ronan Rafferty
1991Not Held
1990Eamonn Darcy (276) -- David Feherty
1989*Mark James (277) -- Peter O'Malley

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Karl Litten Classic (1989), Emirates Airline Classic
(1990), Dubai Desert Classic (1992-2009).

Top Contenders in the Field
Stephen GallacherT-51T-22T-44T-44mcT-31T-10T-2WonWon
Emiliano Grillo------------------------mc2nd
Thorbjorn Olesen------------------mcT-42T-3T-5
Mikko IlonenT-68---mcT-44T-24mc---mcT-52T-5
Rory McIlroy---mcT-52mcWonT-6T-10T-5---T-9
Thomas BjornT-22T-47T-10T-44mcT-15mcT-9mcT-13
Simon DysonT-51T-19T-7T-25T-32T-56T-28T-33T-52T-20
Henrik StensonT-22T-7WonT-63rdT-8mcT-20T-26T-29
Rafa Cabrera-Bello---------------mcT-20WonT-17T-41
Thongchai JaideeT-72T-22T-18T-19T-473rdmcT-42T-64T-41
Alvaro Quiros------T-59mcT-13T-6WonT-37---T-54
Marc Warren------mcmcmcmcT-20mcT-17mc
Branden Grace---------------------T-51---mc
Ernie ElsWon2nd2ndT-3mc------------mc
Lee WestwoodT-6T-28T-25T-10T-392ndT-15T-2T-5---
Sergio Garcia------mcT-19T-11---T-20---T-17---
Martin Kaymer---------2ndT-4T-4T-31T-13------
Graeme McDowell------T-445thT-24T-20------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Rory McIlroy
Darkhorse - Bernd Wiesberger
Last Week's Pick to Win (Charl Schwartzel) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thomas Pieters) - Finished tied for 38th
The European Tour wraps up its "Gulf Swing" this week with the last of three consecutive tournaments in the Middle East, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Five of the top-20 players in the world are in the field, including the top two - Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.

McIlroy finished second two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi in his season debut. He won his first tournament as a professional here in 2009. McIlroy has finished in the top 10 the last five times he has played here.

This is the 15th straight year and 23rd overall that Emirates Golf Club is hosting the tournament. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club played host to the event in 1999-2000.

Last year, Stephen Gallacher recorded four birdies on the back nine in the final round to rally and win. Gallacher finished at 16-under-par 272 and became the first player in event history to successfully defend his title. He joined Ernie Els and Tiger Woods as the only multiple winners of this tournament.

In 2013, Gallacher holed out for eagle on the par-4 16th in the final round and went on to beat Richard Sterne by three strokes. Gallacher carded rounds of 63-70-62-71 to finish his second European Tour title at 22-under-par 266. His total matched Thomas Bjorn's tournament record, which was set in 2001. Gallacher had played 210 events in between his win here in 2013 and his last win in 2004.

Alvaro Quiros carded three straight rounds of 68 following an opening- round 73 to win in 2011. He finished his fifth European Tour title at 11-under-par 277 for a 1-stroke win over Anders Hansen and James Kingston. Quiros aced the par-3 11th hole in the final round en route to victory. He became the third player in European Tour history to win and record a hole-in-one in the final round. The others are Thongchai Jaidee (2004 Malaysian Open) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (2008 BMW PGA Championship).

In 2009, McIlroy won his first European Tour event. He led wire-to-wire after firing rounds of 64-68-67-70 to finish at 19-under-par 269. McIlroy ended with a 1-stroke victory over Justin Rose and became the fifth player to win in wire-to-wire fashion, joining Eamonn Darcy (1990), Seve Ballesteros (1992), Els (1994) and Jose Coceres (2000).

Woods fired a 7-under 65 in the final round of 2008 to win for the second time in three years, posting six birdies on the back nine to overcome a 4-shot deficit. Woods beat Germany's Martin Kaymer by just one stroke at 14-under 274. Woods passed Colin Montgomerie for solo third place on the European Tour's all-time wins list with No. 32. Els, a three-time champion, finished in the top three for the seventh consecutive year.

In 2005, Els eagled the 72nd hole to rally from a shot behind to defeat Stephen Dodd and Jimenez for the title. With the eagle, Els polished off a final-round, 4-under 68 to finish at 19-under-par 269. Els became the first three-time winner in Dubai (he also titled here in 1994 and 2002).

When Mark O'Meara won in 2004, he ended a victory drought that spanned six years. O'Meara, the first American to win since Fred Couples in 1995, had not won since capturing the 1998 Cisco World Match Play Championship. With the victory, O'Meara became the oldest champion in tournament history at 47 years old.

The European Tour's international schedule moves to Malaysia next week for the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, where Lee Westwood will defend his title.

01/27 16:31:21 ET

As of January 27, 2015, at 04:31 PM ET

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