SINCE 1989


Rich in heritage

The Hero Dubai Desert Classic was born in 1989 and is regarded as one of the European Tour’s most historic events that has helped to pave the way for golf's presence in the Middle East and create some of the most iconic moments in golf history.

Promoted and organised by Falcon and Associates, the tournament is fondly referred to as the ‘Major of the Middle East,’ because of its legacy and world-class field that it attracts every year.

The roll of honour includes 11 different Major champions. They are: Seve Ballesteros (1992), Ernie Els (1994, 02, 05), Fred Couples (1995), José Maria Olazábal (1998), Mark O’Meara (2004), Tiger Woods (2006, 08), Rory McIlroy (2009, 15), Henrik Stenson (2007), Danny Willett (2016), Sergio Garcia (2017) and Bryson DeChambeau (2019). Between them, they have won 35 Major championships.

Since his first appearance on the Majlis course in 1993, South African great Els has recorded three victories and nine top threes. Of his 58 rounds on the Majlis course he is a total of 188 under par. Els set the current course record of 61 (-11) on the opening day in 1994, which contained a European Tour record of 12 birdies in a single round.

Since making his first visit to Dubai in 2001, Woods has won the tournament twice. He is 87-under-par for the 29 rounds that he has played on the Majlis course.

McIlroy, on the Majlis Course has yielded three victories in 2009, 2015 and 2023, and a sixth in 2010, tenth in 2011, fifth in 2012, ninth in 2014, sixth in 2016 and second in 2018. At 19 years and 273 days, McIlroy became the youngest winner of the Desert Classic in 2009, beating the previous record of England’s David Howell, who had won the 1999 edition when he was 23 years and 236 days old. McIlroy will be making his 10th appearance at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic this year.

Past Champions

1989 - Mark James
The Dubai Desert Classic becomes the first tournament in the European Tour’s history to be played in the Middle East or Asia. Mark James walks into the history books, becoming the first golfer to inscribe his name on the trophy.
1990 - Eamonn Darcy
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez records the first hole-in-one in the tournament’s history, holing out on the 4th but Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy lands the overall honours with a 4-shot victory.
1992 - Seve Ballesteros
The great Seve Ballesteros is two off pace with six to play on the final day, single putts each of the remaining holes to force a play-off with playing partner Ronan Rafferty, which he wins thanks to a 15-foot birdie on the second play-off hole
1993 - Wayne Westner
South Africa’s Wayne Westner becomes the first non-European winner and posts his first European Tour win, seeing off a determined challenge from compatriot Retief Goosen and defending champion Seve Ballesteros.
1994 - Ernie Els
Ernie Els shoots a sizzling 11-under 61 in the first round, highlighted by 12 birdies and just 21 putts, en route to his first European Tour success. This course record still stands, 20 years on. The affable South African since progressed to become the only three-time winner of the event.
1995 - Fred Couples
Fred Couples becomes the first American to win in Dubai. Stunning approach shots to set up tap-in birdies on the 9th and 12th highlight his victory after he missed the cut the previous year.
1996 - Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie secures victory thanks to his European Tour ‘Shot of the Year’ – a 265-yard driver off the fairway on the closing hole, setting up a two-putt birdie and a place on the roll of honour.
1997 - Richard Green
Richard Green beats two greats – Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam – in a play-off to become the first ‘lefty’ to land the title.
1998 - Jose Maria Olazabal
Suffering from pharyngitis, Jose Maria Olazabal survived on yoghurt and fruit juice, but this failed to prevent the courageous Spaniard from going the full distance. Three off the pace going into the final round, Olazabal closes with a 69 to hold off Stephen Allan, Ernie Els and overnight leader Robert Karlsson.
1999 - David Howell
The change of tournament venue to Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club produces a win for David Howell as he holds his nerve to win by a four from a surging Lee Westwood.
2000 - Jose Coceres
Jose Coceres of Argentina, who won $50,000 for his hole-in-one in 1992, lands the big one with a two-shot win.
2001 - Thomas Bjørn
With a return to its original home, Thomas Bjørn displays a granite resolve to complement his huge talent to beat the world No 1. Plays all four days in the company of Tiger Woods who debuts in the Middle East. Bjorn’s 22-under par total is still a record – held jointly with Stephen Gallacher (2013) and Rory McIlroy (2015).
2002 - Ernie Els
Ernie Els goes one better than Montgomerie’s 1996 Miracle Shot when he blasts a four-iron through the trees on the 18th hole on the second day to 30 feet. The resulting eagle sets the tone for the weekend and a four-shot win, his second in Dubai.
2003 - Robert-Jan Derksen
Ernie Els almost makes the first successful defence in tournament history but can’t get up and down on the last, handing the title to Robert-Jan Derksen, who is almost 600 places behind him in world rankings.
2004 - Mark O’Meara
Tiger Woods returns, but it is his friend and mentor Mark O’Meara, who seals victory thanks to a stunning wedge to eight feet on the closing hole. Becomes the oldest champion at age 47.
2005 - Ernie Els
Ernie Els overturns a one-shot deficit on the final hole, rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt to edge out Stephen Dodd and Miguel Angel Jimenez for his third win in Dubai.
2006 - Tiger Woods
The inevitable finally happens with Tiger Woods inscribing his name on the trophy at his third attempt. Two behind with two to play, he drives the 17th for birdie and picks up another shot on the 18th to force a play-off with Ernie Els where a par is enough to claim victory.
2007 - Henrik Stenson
Playing all four rounds in the company of three-time champion, Ernie Els, Dubai resident Henrik Stenson birdies the final hole to edge out his celebrated playing partner and pre- tournament favourite Tiger Woods.
2008 - Tiger Woods
Five shots adrift going to the back nine, Tiger Woods produces an amazing birdie blitz and seals the title when he converts a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
2009 - Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy records his first European Tour victory and first win on a major tour, aged 19 years when he gets up and down from the greenside bunker on the closing hole for the par he needs to edge past Justin Rose.
2010 - Miguel Angel Jimenez
Evergreen Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez courageously edges out European No 1 Lee Westwood at the third play-off hole after the pair had topped the leaderboard at 11-under par, 1 shot clear of Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
2011 - Alvaro Quiros
The event, won by Alvaro Quiros, witnesses four holes-in-one, all in separate rounds, including one by the winner on the final day.
2012 - Rafa Cabrera Bello
A scintillating 63 in the opening round sets up victory for Rafa Cabrera Bello. Records the third consecutive Spanish win and fifth overall.
2013 - Stephen Gallacher
Stephen Gallacher of Scotland holes his approach to the par-4 16th on the final day for his fifth eagle of the week to hold off Richard Sterne and win his second European Tour title after a nine-year wait.
2014 - Stephen Gallacher
After blowing a two-shot overnight lead, Scotland’s Gallacher made four birdies down the stretch en route to a 72 to finish 16 under and become the first player to successfully defend the Desert Classic on the event’s 25th anniversary.
2015 - Rory McIlroy
A good four shots ahead overnight, Rory McIlroy closed with a 70 to win his second Desert Classic on 22-under 266 total that matched the lowest score in the history of the tournament, set by Stephen Gallacher in 2013 and Thomas Bjørn in 2001.
2016 - Danny Willett
England’s Danny Willett closes with a 69, highlighted by a pressure-packed 15-feet birdie putt on the closing hole, to finish 19-under par, winning his first Desert Classic, one shot ahead of compatriot Andy Sullivan and playing partner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
2017 - Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia completes a wire-to-wire three-shot win over Open champion Henrik Stenson after a closing 69, becoming the sixth Spaniard to win the tournament which saw high winds gusting in excess of 60 kmph, force suspension of play on Friday after the tournament top-draws Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (after round one) were forced to pull out through injury.
2018 - Haotong Li
China’s Haotong Li birdied four of his last six holes to beat Rory McIlroy by one shot and become the first Asian winner of the event with a record score of 23-under-par.
2019 - Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau dominates in Dubai for first International win closing 8-under-par 64 to set a tournament record. His 24-under 264 total for a seven-shot win bettered by one the 72-hole record Haotong Li set last year.
2020 - Lucas Herbert
The high winds and rain didn’t deter Lucas Herbert who proved the most resilient, triumphing in the first extended Desert Classic in a decade to play-off against Christiaan Bezuidenhout. The 24-year-old from Bendigo, Victoria, clinched the title on Australian Day making his achievement all the more remarkable.
2021 - Paul Casey
Paul Casey wrapped up his 15th victory on the European Tour with a confident four-shot win. With a birdie on the 18th, he closed with an exclamation point, sealing his title.
2022 – Viktor Hovland
Became the first Norwegian winner of a Rolex Series event as he defeated Richard Bland in a play-off to win the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic.
The Northern Irishman birdies last two holes to win the tournament by one shot after a fourth-round score of 68. The World Number One joins Ernie Els to lift the coveted Dallah trophy for the third time following his 2009 and 2015 triumphs.
Rory McIlroy secured his place in the history books by winning a record-setting fourth Hero Dubai Desert Classic (HDDC) title with a one-shot victory at the 35th edition of the illustrious event at Emirates Golf Club.
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