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Time to Shine… For the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic

Golfing superstars Minjee Lee, Georgia Hall and Lydia Ko, will be teeing off under the floodlights at this year’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, confirmed for November. The iconic Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club will host three days of golfing action from 4-6 November with 56 players set to compete. Competition for the $285,000 prize fund will be fierce with five players from the confirmed field in the top 50 and one player in the top ten. 

Previously the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, has been won by some of the world’s leading female golfers including four time champion Shanshan Feng, two time winner Annika Sorenstam, Alexis Thompson and Pornanong Phatlum.

The tournament which has been played since 2006 on the Faldo Course, will return in 2020 for its 14th edition. The course was built with night golf in mind. It was redesigned by six-time Major champion, Sir Nick Faldo, in 2005 and reopened as a par-72 layout in 2006, with floodlights being an integral part of the course’s design. This year’s three-day event is set to take place behind closed doors and held within a safe environment. The OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic will mark the return of sporting events to Dubai and take place under the appropriately named theme “Time To Shine”, after many tournaments were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst spectators aren’t permitted this year, the event will be broadcast globally to 60 countries and 348m households so you won’t miss out!

The 2020 tournament has already secured some standout players from the women’s game, including defending champion Nuria Iturrioz, Solheim Cup players Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Céline Boutier and the 2021 captain, Catriona Matthew. With the latter being a previous Women’s Open winner, LET ‘Player of the Year’ and famously the victorious Team Europe captain for the 2019 Solheim Cup. Whereas Boutier has been prominent since her breakout as the number-one ranked amateur in 2014, going on to secure four victories on the Ladies European Tour and Symetra Tour in 2017 and 2018, before following up in 2020 with her first victory on the LPGA with a win at the Texas Women’s Open.

03/08/2019. Ladies European Tour 2019. AIG Women’s British Open, Woburn Golf Club, Woburn, England. 1-4 August 2019. Charley Hull of England during the second round. Credit: Tristan Jones

Australasian sensations Lydia Ko and Minjee Lee will be hoping to crash the European party. Ko, who in 2017 became the youngest ever number one ranked professional (in either the men or women’s game) as well as a two-time Major winner soon after, will be hoping her first appearance in Dubai will continue her return to form in 2020 after a recent T2 finish at the Marathon Classic. Australian Minjee Lee is currently ranked No.6 in the world and with three top-four finishes in five starts since the post-COVID resumption, she’ll be hoping to better her T-11 performance in Dubai back in 2014. 

12/08/2020. Ladies European Tour 2020. Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. Renaissance Club, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland. August 13-16 2020 Minjee Lee of Australia during the first round. Credit: Tristan Jones.

Looking to take advantage of the unique conditions will be 2018 Women’s Open winner champion, Georgia Hall, who arrives in Dubai fresh from three victories in the pandemic-affected season of 2020, with success on the Rose Ladies Series in the U.K. and a playoff triumph in the US at the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic.

Hall will be looking to claim her first title in the Middle East but will face tough competition in Charley Hull, who she finished runner-up to in the overall standings of the recent Rose Ladies Series. Hull, who is no stranger to success in the UAE, won the most recent edition of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, in 2019. Her recent run of form in 2020 will make her one of the favourites to lift the iconic Dallah Trophy when the world-class field assembles in November. 

With a line-up of such prodigious talent at this year’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, Muni He, certainly won’t struggle to standout. The 21-year-old Chinese professional whose rise to prominence has seen her claim her first tournament victory on the Symetra Tour in July 2018 at the inaugural Prasco Charity Championship in Maineville, Ohio. A follow-up win at last November’s LPGA Q-Series was enough to secure her 2020 LPGA Tour membership and Dubai will be a prime opportunity for her to prove her burgeoning potential. 

15/08/2020. Ladies European Tour 2020. Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. Renaissance Club, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland. August 13-16 2020 Lydia Ko of New Zealand during the final round. Credit: Tristan Jones.

Formerly known as the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Masters, the inaugural tournament was played in 2006, with a strong rollcall of previous winners, including two-time winner, Annika Sorenstam, and four-time champion, Shanshan Feng. Sorenstam won the first two events back to back in 2006 and 2007, while Chinese former world no.1, Feng, dominated from 2014-2016, winning the tournament three times in-a-row.  

The newly named and scheduled tournament has been switched from May to November after its first staging in spring 2019, when it achieved global recognition as the world’s first professional day-night tour event. 

For more information on the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, visit: https://www.OMEGAdubaimoonlightclassic.com/

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