DUBAI: Rory McIlroy will have a chance to make history by becoming the first four-time winner of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic when he returns to the Emirates Golf Club in January to defend his title.
The Ryder Cup star and world No. 2 will join a top-class field at the first Rolex Series event of the 2024 Race to Dubai, aiming to add to his victories in 2009, 2015 and 2023.
The reigning Race to Dubai Champion memorably equaled Ernie Els’ record this season when he lifted the Dallah trophy for a third time, edging out American Patrick Reed on a dramatic final day at the Majlis Course.
“It meant a lot to lift the Dallah trophy for a third time,” McIlroy said. “I’ve enjoyed a lot of success at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic over the years, so adding another title was the perfect way to start the year.
“I love coming to Dubai and the support we get from fans is always special. I look forward to getting back to Emirates Golf Club in January, and hopefully creating a bit of history.”
The four-time Major winner added a second Rolex Series title at the Genesis Scottish Open in July, and once again leads the Race to Dubai rankings as he aims to top the season-long league for a fifth time. The 34-year-old will also return to Dubai on a wave of Ryder Cup glory, after Team Europe’s stunning 16½ - 11½ victory over the US this month.
Simon Corkill, the executive tournament director of Hero Dubai Desert Classic, said: “We are delighted to confirm Rory will return to defend his title and will be striving for a historic fourth win.
“Our roll of honor features an illustrious cast of golf’s most notable names and I am sure we will have a worthy champion to join this star-studded list and lift the Dallah Trophy in January.”
This year’s event is the 35th Dubai Desert Classic, which recently became the first tournament in the Middle East, and the first in the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series, to be officially certified by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.
This year’s event will take place from Jan. 18 to 21. The world-class golf will be accompanied by an array of family-friendly entertainment, organizers said, including a wider variety of options off the course than ever before to ensure fans of all ages have plenty to enjoy throughout the tournament.
“The Hero Dubai Desert Classic would not be the same without the off-course entertainment, and this year we have carefully curated the event schedule to ensure spectators have many engaging experiences to enjoy; something for all the family in celebration of the 35th edition of the tournament,” Corkill said.