Featuring a perfect blend of youth and experience in the field, highlighted by the appearance of seven Solheim Cup players, the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic promises to deliver another shining example of the winds of change blowing across the Ladies European Tour when the season-ending event gets under way at Emirates Golf Club, from December 6 to 9.
Bursting at the seams with talent, young prodigies such as Georgia Hall, Angel Yin, Aditi Ashok, Charley Hull, Camille Chevalier, Céline Boutier and Klara Spilkova will go out with a slew of seasoned campaigners, providing first class golf entertainment for fans at the Majlis course.
In a buoyant mood after racking up six top-10s, including a second at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, England’s Hall has already assured herself of the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit title, while France’s Chevalier, the winner of the Hero Women’s Indian Open, still has some work to do before sealing the Rookie of the Year honours.
The tournament, now in its 12th year, In-Kyung Kim will be looking to wrap up her season with another successful shot at the title and become only the third multiple winner of the season-ending Ladies European Tour event.
Kim, the winner of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, who first won the event in 2009, will have her work cut out as the 108-player field is packed with potential winners, who will be itching to step up to the plate and challenge the South Korean, such as Englishwoman Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who finished runner-up to Kim this summer at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland.
The grand dame of the women’s game, Laura Davies, American powerhouse Brittany Lincicome, Charley Hull, Florentyna Parker, Lee-Anne Pace and Catriona Matthew, the first woman to be included in Scottish golf’s Hall of Fame, will be among strong contenders for the resigned winner’s trophy that emulates the look and feel of the iconic Dallah, the symbol of supremacy at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
How the script unfolds, only time will tell, but one thing is sure: the tournament, always absorbing, will throw up some of enduring memories to add to its catalogue of classic moments.
Providing a distinct ‘local’ flavour to the event will be Morocco’s Maha Haddioui, the first Arab golfer to ply her trade on the Ladies European Tour. And she believes a good showing from her could well mark a watershed moment for women’s golf in the Arab world.
“It’s a little girl’s dream, even if you are 28, you still have a dream to win in the region — Dubai or Morocco. It’s something really strong in my heart,” she said. “If that happens it will sort of inspire other women in the Arab world to take up golf,” said Haddioui, who will be making her sixth appearance in the tournament.
Meanwhile, a series of activities planned on and off the course will help keep the atmosphere buzzing. The tournament will wear a ‘Pink’ look on Friday to create breast cancer awareness, especially amongst young people, with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles in addition to supporting initiatives of Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, the UAE’s first independent multi-disciplinary medical research centre.
In a bid to encourage more and more fans come to the watch the action, the organisers have once again announced that there will be no entry fee. Golf enthusiasts, however, must register online for tickets by visiting the tournament website omegadubailadiesclassic.com.