Dubai Desert Classic

"I want to win. Any week I tee it up that's the aim..."

Young and hungry PGA TOUR University qualifier Sam Bennett chasing American dream on Dubai Desert Classic debut

Slync Dubai Desert Classic

Rising Texan star reveals sightseeing list of Dubai hotspots, with 22-year-old showing no fear ahead of maiden DP World Tour bow

Texas A&M University senior Sam Bennett, one of the rising stars of the US game, has revealed a simple sounding aim for this week's Dubai Desert Classic: outright victory.

As the top-ranked player in the PGA TOUR University Velocity Global Ranking, Bennett received a sponsor exemption for DP World Tour's second Rolex Series event of the season. And with the 22-year-old American hotshot possessing droves of fearless, wide-eyed enthusiasm, Bennett's boundless optimism and youthful exuberance have stirred lofty intentions ahead of his Emirates Golf Club debut.

"This is my first DP World Tour event, and I am so excited to get the opportunity to play and represent the PGA Tour University and Velocity Global, it means a lot to represent Tex A&M University and college golf out here. I'm excited to play my first DP World Tour event in Dubai, and I want to win. Any week I tee it up that's the aim. I'm not here to make the cut or the top 20. I feel my game is ready and I belong out here. I'm going to try to win this golf tournament," said Bennett.

Speaking on the eve of the Dubai Desert Classic, which runs at Emirates Golf Club from January 27 – 30, Bennett seemed blissfully nonchalant about taking his place in a prestigious Dubai field that counts defending champion Paul Casey, three of the world's top 10 players, multiple Masters, Open and Major winners, numerous Ryder Cup veterans, as well as serial DP World Tour and PGA Tour event winners.

"I'd like to play with Rory (McIlroy) on Thursday and Friday, but I'm OK playing with anyone. Hopefully I get a good pairing or group," added the rising Texan star, who also revealed a tourism bucket-list for his first trip the UAE.

"Dubai is awesome, it's certainly a lot different from the small town in Texas where I live," added Bennett. "The big skyscrapers are unreal. It looks like Las Vegas in the Middle East. The drive to the hotel from the airport was unbelievable, with these big buildings and billboards everywhere. I'm here with my cousin and girlfriend and we have a few tourist things on the list. We're going to hit Mall of the Emirates to go skiing, the Burj Khalifa – we have to see the tallest building in the world – and we'll go to The Palm to visit Atlantis – they're all on my girlfriend's list."

Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director – Dubai Desert Classic, revealed Bennett's grandstand ability and infectious enthusiasm are vital ingredients in delivering a potentially memorable Dubai debut: "Sam has fantastic ability and, like so many of the young guns ripping up the US college circuit, amazing mental fortitude for such a young man. He has the world at his feet, and I am sure our knowledgeable galleries at Emirates Golf Club will take great delight watching a young talent who is destined for the highest echelons of the game."

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