Omega Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament

The European Tour event's winners, history and trivia

Danny Willett of England poses with the trophy after his victory in the 2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Danny Willett poses with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic's impressive trophy after winning the tournament in 2016. Warren Little/Getty Images

The Dubai Desert Classic is part of the European Tour's early season "Gulf Swing," a series of tournaments in the Persian Gulf region. This event is the oldest of those tournaments, first played in 1989. The tournament's organizers (Golf in Dubai) tout it as "the major of the Middle East."

2020 Tournament
Australian Lucas Herbert earned his first career win on the European Tour in a playoff. Herbert and Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa finished 72 holes tied at 9-under 279. They matched pars on the first extra hole, then Herbert won it with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

2019 Tournament

Bryson DeChambeau earned his first European Tour victory with the runaway win. DeChambeau's winning total of 24-under 264 lowered the previous tournament record by one stroke. His margin of victory was seven shots over runner-up Matt Wallace.

2018 Dubai Desert Classic
Li Haotong birdied the final two holes to hold off Rory McIlroy and claim the title. Haotong finished at 23-under 265, one stroke ahead of runner-up McIlroy. McIlroy also birdied the final two holes, but that wasn't enough to make up for his bogey on No. 16.

Official Tournament Web site

Tournament Records at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

  • Scoring, 72 holes: 264 - Bryson DeChambeau, 2019
  • Scoring, 18 holes: 61 - Ernie Els, 1994
  • Wins: 3 - Ernie Els
  • Margin of victory: 6 shots - Els, 1994
  • Youngest winner: Rory McIlroy, 19 years and 273 days, 2009
  • Oldest winner: Mark O'Meara, 47 and 54 days, 2004

Dubai Desert Classic's Golf Course

The Dubai Desert Classic is played at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. Emirates GC has been the site of the tournament for all but two years of its history. In 1999-2000, the host site was Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Emirates GC has two courses; this tournament is played on the club's Majlis Course.

History and Trivia at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

  • The Dubai Desert Classic has a special place in the history of the Golf Channel network: The 1995 tournament was the first live golf tournament ever broadcast on the Golf Channel.
  • Ernie Els is the only 3-time winner in the history of the Dubai Desert Classic.
  • Stephen Gallacher is the only golfer to win this tournament in consecutive years (2013-14). In addition to Els and Gallacher, the only other multiple champions here are Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Woods beat Els in a playoff for the title in 2006.
  • Rory McIlroy's first European Tour victory (and first professional win on a major tour) was at the 1999 Dubai Desert Classic, when he was 19 years old.
  • Mark O'Meara won the championship in 2004 at age 47. It was O'Meara's first official tour win since 1998, and was his last before joining the Champions Tour.
  • His victory at the 1994 Dubai Desert Classic launched Ernie Els into world stardom. It was his first victory on the European Tour. He went on to win five times total that year, including the 1994 U.S. Open several months later.
  • Mark James won the inaugural tournament in 1989. That year, the Dubai Desert Classic became the first tournament in the European Tour's history to be played in the Middle East - or anywhere else in Asia.
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez won the trophy in a playoff in 2010, but he also made two holes-in-one in this tournament ... 18 years apart. Jimenez's first ace here was in the 1990 Dubai Desert Classic. Then he aced against in 2008.

Winners of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

(Changes in the tournament's official name are noted; p-won playoff)

Omega Dubai Desert Classic
2020 - Lucas Herbert-p, 279
2019 - Bryson DeChambeau, 264
2018 - Li Haotong, 265
2017 - Sergio Garcia, 269
2016 - Danny Willett, 269
2015 - Rory McIlroy, 266
2014 - Stephen Gallacher, 272
2013 - Stephen Gallacher, 266
2012 - Rafael Cabrera-Bello, 270
2011 - Alvaro Quiros, 277
2010 - p-Miguel Angel Jimenez, 277

Dubai Desert Classic
2009 - Rory McIlroy, 269
2008 - Tiger Woods, 274
2007 - Henrik Stenson, 269
2006 - p-Tiger Woods, 269
2005 - Ernie Els, 269
2004 - Mark O'Meara, 271
2003 - Robert-Jan Derksen, 271
2002 - Ernie Els, 272
2001 - Thomas Bjorn, 266
2000 - Jose Coceres, 274
1999 - David Howell, 275
1998 - Jose Maria Olazabal, 269
1997 - p-Richard Green, 272
1996 - Colin Montgomerie, 270
1995 - Fred Couples, 268
1994 - Ernie Els, 268
1993 - Wayne Westner, 274
1992 - p-Seve Ballesteros, 272

Emirates Airlines Desert Classic
1990 - Eamonn Darcy, 276

Karl Litten Desert Classic
1989 - p-Mark James, 277