DUBAI, Jan 28 -- A sizzling star-cast, spearheaded by Tiger Woods, kicks off the busy Dubai Desert Classic week for the Challenge Match at the par-3 course of the Emirates Golf Club on January 29, starting at 3pm.
The world number one will be joined by a string of high-profile players in the 12-strong field for the traditional curtain-raiser, sponsored by Jumeirah Golf Estates, DubaiI's premier residential golfing community.
The Jumeirah Golf Estates Challenge Match provides a rare opportunity for fans to see the game’s biggest stars up close and personal, in a fun format in which they will battle to win money for designated UAE charities.
The match will involve six teams, each comprising two players. The teams will be split into three groups and will play in a ‘greensomes’ format on the par-27 course, measuring 1,239 from blue tees.
The pairings for the challenge match are:
Team 1 - David Howell and Jeev Milkha Singh
Team 2 - Colin Montgomerie and Henrik Stenson
Team 3 – Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood
Team 4 - Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn
Team 5 – Mark O’Meara and Ross Bain
Team 6 – Tiger Woods and Darren Clarke
The course has been laid out in such a way that it tests the skills of all. The longest hole on the course being 194-yard third hole while the shortest (the fourth) measures 96 yards.
"The players have been selected for the Challenge Match on the basis of their rankings and, of course, for their star value on the tour," said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAI, the promoters and organisers of the event.
"We are thankful to Jumeirah Golf Estates for their sponsorship of the Challenge Match, which kicks off the tournament week in style and is enjoyed by all."
Entry to the par-3 course will be restricted to ticket holders only. The tickets, priced at Dh75, are available at the gate at Emirates Golf Club.
"The early response to the Challenge Match has been good, but we want more and more people to come and watch these great players in action in a relaxed atmosphere," Buamaim said.
Jumeirah Golf Estates were equally excited to be associated with the Challenge Match. “We’re delighted with the all-star field that has signed up for the Challenge Match. They are Major winners and some of the hottest players on the tours today," said David Spencer, Chief Executive of Leisurecorp.
“The Jumeirah Golf Estates Challenge Match will be the best opportunity for fans to see the world’s best golfers up close in a relaxed, fun environment –- albeit one in which they will be competing hard with each other!"
‘golf in DUBAI’ is backed by Dubal (Dubai Aluminium) as the main partner and Emirates-NBD, Emaar, Jumeirah Hotels, Emirates airline, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Gulf News, Omega and CNN as partners in its drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.