Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 January 2020

Shugo Imahira, Viktor Hovland and Charl Schwartzel added to 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic line up

Shugo Imahira has two wins in the last three months on the Japan Golf Tour and will make his debut at this month's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Courtesy photo
Shugo Imahira has two wins in the last three months on the Japan Golf Tour and will make his debut at this month's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Courtesy photo

Two of international golf’s most promising young talents, Viktor Hovland and Shugo Imahira, will make their first appearance at this month's Omega Dubai Desert Classic, while former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel has also added his name to a star-studded field.

Hovland, 22, arrives at the Emirates Golf Club on the back of a record-breaking run of scoring on the US PGA Tour last year. The Norwegian shot 19 straight rounds in the 60s from June to October, posting a highest finish of fourth at the Wyndham Championship.

“I’ve spent the last few years playing mostly in America, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to come to Dubai,” said Hovland, who will be eyeing a potential European Ryder Cup debut later this year.

“One of the great things since turning professional has been playing so many events and courses that I have watched growing up as a kid and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic is no different. There have been so many iconic moments there and I can’t think of a better place to kick-start 2020 than at Emirates GC in a couple of weeks.”

Imahira will be looking to add to his burgeoning reputation following several successful campaigns on his native Japan Golf Tour. Four wins in the last two seasons, including two in the last three months, has seen the 27-year-old rise to 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I’m excited to be coming to Dubai for the first time to make my European Tour debut,” said Imahira, who won the Japan Golf Tour Money List in 2018. “I have not played much outside of Japan, so this is a great opportunity to see how my game shapes up next to some of the world’s best players. I have also heard amazing things about this event and Dubai as a destination, so I cannot wait to experience everything later this month.”

Hovland and Imahira join a stellar line up for the January 23-26 event, including defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and a number of former winners, including major champions Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett.

Other names confirmed include Thomas Bjorn, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Haotong Li, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

Updated: January 7, 2020 12:34 PM

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