Twenty-six years after lifting the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic's famous Dallah Trophy, Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, the tournament's 1996 champion, is relishing his latest shot at Dubai glory.
Two-and-a-half decades after famously playing a driver off the deck on the 18th fairway – a shot which effectively sealed his maiden Dubai title - Montgomerie is back in the emirate alongside a world-class field comprising multiple Masters, Open and Major winners, numerous Ryder Cup veterans, as well as serial DP World Tour and PGA Tour event winners.
With two of the event's headline stars, Collin Morikawa, the world number two, and Viktor Hovland, the world number five, not even born when Montgomerie triumphed on the Majlis Course, the eight-time Order of Merit winner is keen to enjoy himself against a youthful Dubai field.
"I really enjoy it in Dubai," said Montgomerie. "It's a great honour to have my name above the door at a course not too far away from here, and it's always nice to come to Emirates Golf Club as a past champion. I have one plaque in the world and it's here on the 18th fairway, so it's a very special place for me. I do enjoy coming back here and playing the golf course, it's stood the test of time and I think I speak for all the players when I say we enjoy coming here."
As a regular in Dubai since the 1980s, Montgomerie is in a unique position to evaluate the ever-evolving landscape surrounding Emirates Golf Club.
"The city has sprung up around the course," added Montgomerie. "They were ahead of the game and realised the potential out here - and I say here because in those days it was quite a way out."
Following its promotion to a Rolex Series Event this year, and a fresh look and feel around the Majlis Course on-the-back of new title sponsor Slync onboard, Montgomerie is embracing the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic's ‘new era'.
Everything is moving forward in the right way. The prize money is USD 8 million, who can argue with any of this and in the January sunshine no less – let's enjoy ourselves," added Montgomerie.
For more information about the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, please visit: https://www.slyncdubaidesertclassic.com/