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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 April 2019

Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen to compete at 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

The tournament's most successful player - boasting three wins and the course record - will return to Emirates Golf Club in January

Ernie Els is a four-time major winner and former world No 1. Getty Images
Ernie Els is a four-time major winner and former world No 1. Getty Images

Three-time champion Ernie Els and fellow South African major winner Louis Oosthuizen have been confirmed for the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Taking place January 24-27 at Emirates Golf Club, the Dubai Desert Classic enters its 30th edition next year. The tournament has recently announced a number of players, including American world No 5 Bryson DeChambeau, 2017 Desert Classic and US Masters champion Sergio Garcia, and Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Now the tournament's most successful player has joined the ranks vying for the Dallah trophy. Els, 49, won the first of his three Desert Classic titles in 1994, and shot a course record 61 - which still stands - in the first round en route to his first European Tour title.

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Els, a four-time major winner and former world No 1, won his second title in 2002 with a four-shot victory, before claiming an unprecedented third in 2005 when he holed a 20-foot eagle putt to edge out Stephen Dodd and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“We are really excited to welcome back such an iconic golf legend for his 17th appearance in our tournament," tournament director David Spencer said in a statement. "Ernie is always a crowd favourite and he obviously has a special history on the Majlis course. He may be turning 50 next year, but a fourth victory will be within his grasp.”

Oosthuizen, 36, will head to the Dubai Desert Classic having already won on the European Tour this season following his victory at the South African Open in Johannesburg last week.

Former British Open winner Oosthuizen is one of just seven players to finish runner-up in all four majors - the Masters, US Open, British Open and US PGA Championship.

Another South African set to compete in Dubai is Els's 21-year-old nephew Jovan Rebula, who will make his debut at the tournament after earning his place by winning the British Amateur Championship.

"To have both the Big Easy and the Little Easy playing together alongside Louis will give a really special South African storyline to the tournament," Spencer said.

Tickets for the 2019 Dubai Desert Classic are on sale and start at Dh75 for general admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.omegadubaidesertclassic.com.

Updated: December 12, 2018 10:00 AM

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