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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia lead host of Ryder Cup stars confirmed for 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

European captain Thomas Bjorn also set to compete at Emirates Golf Club as are Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Olesen

Sergio Garcia, pictured during his title-winning tournament in 2017, will return to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic next year. Getty Images
Sergio Garcia, pictured during his title-winning tournament in 2017, will return to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic next year. Getty Images

European Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia have been confirmed for next month’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The event, taking place January 24-27, will mark the tournament’s 30th anniversary by welcoming a host of Thomas Bjorn’s victorious team, including Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Bjorn, who captained Europe to a comprehensive 17.5-10.5 win against the United States at Le Golf National in France in October, will also compete for the title he captured in 2001. Lee Westwood, vice-captain in France, and Colin Montgomerie, Europe’s winning captain at Celtic Manor in 2010, have added their names to the field as well.

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“We are looking forward to ensuring that our 30th edition continues to enhance Dubai’s growing reputation as a world-class golfing destination,” said tournament director David Spencer. “The players love our tournament because they get to spend time in our dynamic and vibrant city. No doubt when the winner’s name is etched on our Dallah trophy in 2019, the tradition of greatness will continue.”

The 2017 Desert Classic champion, Garcia went on to win the Masters two months after his victory at Emirates Golf Club. At this year's Ryder Cup, the Spaniard justified his inclusion as one of Bjorn’s wildcards by triumphing in three of his four matches. In doing so, Garcia became the most successful European in Ryder Cup history, with 25.5 points.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, formed a formidable partnership with Francesco Molinari to take four points from four, before being defeated in the singles by Tony Finau. The Englishman, winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA the past two years, recorded his best finish at the Desert Classic earlier this year, when he came home tied-6th.

Defending champion Haotong Li will return to the Majlis in attempt to repeat his impressive victory from January. The 23-year-old from China held off four-time major champion Rory McIlroy on Sunday to secure a one-shot victory.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, the 2018 European Tour Rookie of the Year, has been confirmed for next month's event and will join Dubai-born amateur Rayhan Thomas and Jovan Rebula, the British amateur champion and nephew of the Classic’s only three-time champion, Ernie Els.

Updated: December 4, 2018 10:50 AM

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