McIlroy eyes third Dubai Desert Classic title

Rory McIlroy is back at the event for the first time since 2018. — Supplied photo
Rory McIlroy is back at the event for the first time since 2018. — Supplied photo

Dubai - The Northern Irishman had won at the Majlis Course of the Emirates Golf Club in 2009 and 2015

By Team KT

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 4:32 PM

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy is returning to Emirates Golf Club in January in a bid to win his third Dubai Desert Classic title. McIlroy will be looking to add to his impressive record in Dubai at what will be the second Rolex Series event of the 2022 DP World Tour season.

The Northern Irishman is back at the event for the first time since 2018 — when he came close to adding to the titles he won in 2009 and 2015 — finishing just one shot behind winner Li Haotong. McIlroy has an enviable record over the Majlis Course with a further six top-10 finishes in 11 previous appearances.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed many memorable moments in Dubai throughout his illustrious career, winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in 2012 and 2015 and topping the season-long DP World Rankings three times — in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

McIlroy adds further star power to an elite field at the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic, which includes World No.2 and newly-crowned DP World Rankings winner Collin Morikawa, fellow Major winner and 2017 Dubai Desert Classic winner Sergio Garcia, and defending champion Paul Casey., the logistics technology provider that is revolutionising the way global logistics works, will debut its new title partnership of the iconic event in 2022. This is also the first year the Dubai Desert Classic will be elevated to Rolex Series status, becoming part of the DP World Tour’s premium series of events.

The Dubai Desert Classic will be the second of back-to-back Rolex Series events in the region, following the season-opener in Abu Dhabi. These tournaments in January form part of the traditional ‘Desert Swing’ and attract the sport’s leading players.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Emirates Golf Club for the Dubai Desert Classic in 2022,” said McIlroy.

“I have so many wonderful memories from playing in Dubai over the years, and particularly over the Majlis Course, where I’ve been able to win twice. I look forward to coming back to Dubai and aiming to get my hands on that incredible trophy again.”

“As a fan of golf, it’s important that we bring a field that other fans will enjoy,” Chris Kirchner, chairman and CEO of stated. “Rory is one of my favourite players and I’m thrilled to have him as part of the inaugural title partnership for”

Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director, Dubai Desert Classic, said: “The addition of Rory McIlroy to an already strong field emphasises the pedigree of the Dubai Desert Classic. As one of the most talented golfers in the world he brings plenty of energy and excitement to the tournament. We look forward to seeing Rory battle it out with Collin Morikawa, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and others in a truly world-class field at this year’s event.”

Organisers have also confirmed that entry to the Dubai Desert Classic will be free to all over the four days. Corkill added: “With the UAE set to celebrate its Golden Jubilee, we are delighted to announce that entry will be free for all golf fans over the four days of the tournament.

“This decision was made in recognition of this special moment in the UAE’s history, while also giving something back to sports fans following the challenges that have been faced in 2020 and 2021. What better way to celebrate than through a truly global sporting event on our doorstep which everyone can enjoy.”

The 2022 edition will also see its hospitality offering transformed, with the Dallah Lounge terraces and Sky deck relocated to a prime location overlooking both the 9th and the 18th greens. The package includes a sumptuous lunch, beverages, afternoon tea, VIP car park and player visits. An early bird offer is available, visit: or contact for more information.

Celebrating its 33rd edition in 2022, the Dubai Desert Classic has been won by some of golf’s greatest names, including Major champions Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Jose Maria Olazábal, Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, McIlroy, Danny Willett, Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau.

The winner’s circle over the past 32 years has also featured Ryder Cup stars Mark James, the inaugural champion in 1989, Eamonn Darcy, Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Thomas Bjørn, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Stephen Gallacher.

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