x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai course ready for grand finale

The Earth golf course, site of this week's Dubai World Championship, is in ideal condition for the season's grand finale, as organisers demonstrated.

DUBAI // The Earth golf course, site of this week's Dubai World Championship, is in ideal condition for the season's grand finale, as organisers demonstrated yesterday at a media preview. There had been concerns on the European Tour over the last year that the course would not be ready in time to welcome one of the richest tournaments of the season. The event, which will feature top-ranked players such as Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ernie Els, offers US$7.5million (Dh27.5m) in prize money and runs from Thursday until Sunday. It is the final leg of the inaugural Race to Dubai, a competition spread across 51 tournaments in 26 destinations around the globe.

The championship course at Jumeirah Golf Estates has been in the making since April 2008. Greg Norman, the Australian who was once the world's No 1 golfer for a record 331 weeks, designed it and is particularly proud of the closing stretch of four holes, which he has labelled his "Golden Mile". The 17th hole, which highlights that difficult run, is called the Island Hole and is surrounded by water. It is similar to a challenging part of the Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedre, Florida. The clubhouse is still temporary but the locker room is set to welcome the 58 competing professionals.

* The National