McIlroy confirmed for Dubai

Rory McIlroy has confirmed his participation in the upcoming Omega Dubai Desert Classic, set for January 29 – February 1.

The World No 1 had already committed to make his first start of 2015 at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but an impending court case involving his former management company meant he was still not able to confirm his participation in the last of the three Desert Swing events on the European Tour.

Now McIlroy has announced he will return to the scene of his first professional victory back in 2009, joining a star-studded field which includes fellow Ryder Cuppers Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher – the defending champion in Dubai.

“I’ve got great memories of Dubai and it will be fun to get back to a golf course where I have enjoyed success over the years,” he told the European Tour.

“It was nice to get my first professional win in Dubai. I had my parents there with me and it was a special moment that I will never forget. That win was a real stepping stone for the success that followed and my relationship with Dubai went from strength-to-strength.

“To think the tournament is older than I am is testimony to its strength. They have an outstanding field all the time, and the golf course is really in great shape. Obviously, I will be looking to win the event again.”

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, added: “We are delighted to welcome back a stand-out player in a field which exudes the energy of a major with all those big names battling for glory in Dubai.

“We have seen him first compete as an amateur in 2006 and now we will see him tee up as the world number one for the first time. His incredible journey has left indelible footprints in the tournament’s history.

“As his name has become synonymous with the golfing landscape of Dubai, I am confident his presence will radiate distinct energy to the tournament, one that will rub off on fans. I wish him the very best and hope that the future brings him more success.”