For the majority of the golfing population the desert swing will signal the beginning of the golfing season. Having just returned from Dubai I can say that it was a great start full of excitment, great golf and three, deservant, British winners.
I would, firstly, like to doff my hat to the people of the U.A.E for what was a fantastic visit, especially those who were hospitable to us during our stay in Abu Dhabi(Carol and Peter) and Doha(Carl and Simon). I think this part of the world is truly amazing. Year on year i return and the rate at which it is growing economically is truely astonshing and a symbol of humanity’s advancement.
Firstly, in Abu Dhabi, we had J. Donaldson prevale as the winner after proving the importance of being slick on the greens-absolutely phenomonal putting- with help from experienced bagman Mick Donaghey. In a week where neither world number 1 R. Mcilroy or 14 time major winner T. Woods( as the result of a wrong drop) could not make the cut, full advantage was taken by Donaldson. This was the sternest test of the three weeks with a cut of +2! The main reason for this was the penalising rough and some, rather, windy conditions. Although this golf course is a fanastic structure and setup, there has been talk of moving the venue of this fantastic tournament to Saadiyat Beach golf Course-Gary Player design.
The following week in Doha, Qatar we saw Chris Wood bag his maiden victory wth an astonoshing eagle on the 72nd hole. Not only did this make for great viewing but also ensured that the deservant winner lifted the trophy. However, I do have hard feelings for Mr. Coetzee who has yet to get his hands on a trophy despite several great efforts, I’m sure his day will come.
And finally we had the Dubai Desert Classic. Personally, this is my favourite tournament of the swing. This year’s course was set up slighttly more leniently than in previous years and the low scores reflected this (-22 winning the tournament!). Again, well done to S. Gallacher on his victory, holing out from the rough was a huge turning point and ,i’m sure, helped to settle the nerves going down the stretch. His caddie, Damian Moore, will also be wearing a smile with the first place cheque being a delightful €309,233!
All in all i enjoyed the desert swing and I am sure the quality of golf out there was a sign of things to come for 2013 and wish the players the all the best for the year ahead.