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Top class field for Desert Classic qualifier

Stephen Deane (professional) and Miki Mirza (amateur) with ‘golf in Dubai’ ambassador Thomas Bjorn and tournament director Adrian Flaherty after winning the 2010 Omega Dubai Desert Classic qualifier at Emirates Golf Club. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff

Leading professionals and amateurs from in and around the UAE have signed up for the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic qualifying round that gets under way at the Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis course on Sunday.

The 18-hole qualifier will see both professionals and amateurs compete in their respective divisions from the championship tees in a stroke-play format, and the winner of each category will join a galaxy of superstars, led by world number one Lee Westwood and charismatic Tiger Woods, in the longest-running European Tour event outside the continent.
Included in the field are 2010 winners Stephen Deane (professional) of Emirates Golf Club and Miki Mirza (amateur) of the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. They will be joined a host exciting players who have shown a marked improvement in their game.
The players to watch in the amateur division are: Emirates Golf Federation’s junior order of merit winner Daniel Hendry, Shaikh Rashid Trophy winner Michael Harradine, long-hitting Joel Neale, seasoned Vikram Judge, Dino Varkey and young Philipp Urasch among others talented players.
The Musharrekh brothers - Abdulla and Ahmed - will lead the UAE challenge in the field which has also attracted experienced Bahraini duo of Hamad Mubarak and Nasser Yacoob Saleh.
With almost all the top UAE club professionals in the field, the battle for the ‘dream ticket’ to the main draw is likely to go down to the wire. Jamie Wood, Stuart McMurdo and Dave Adams, all former winners of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic qualifier, could expect a stiff fight from in-form Richard Sheridan.
“The Omega Dubai Desert Classic Qualifying round provides a perfect platform for all golfers of the region to showcase their skills and win a rare ticket to play in this prestigious event of the European Tour,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai, the promoters and organisers of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
“Being able to play in the company of some of the world’s greatest golfers is something many golfers especially amateurs, dream of. We, at golf in Dubai, welcome all golfers - both UAE and non-UAE; professionals and amateurs to be a part of this qualifier,” he added.
While the who’s who of world golf vie for the top honours at the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the winners of the qualifier will add a bit of local flavour to this European Tour event which has put Dubai on the map.