Top golf tournament to use lights on 9th and 18th holes to help players complete rounds in reduced daylight
The closing stages of each day of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic could be played under floodlights for the first time in its history.
The European Tour said promoters of the tournament have invested in floodlighting around the combined ninth and 18th greens on the Majlis Course to ensure that all players can finish on each day, especially in rounds one and two on Thursday and Friday (January 25-26).
With the tournament being played a week earlier on the calendar than in 2017, the proposed field for this year’s tournament was initially 126 – six players fewer than the number who teed up last February.
But, following the lighting intervention, the field has been increased by six, back up to the 2017 number of 132.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “This is a wonderful idea and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport. We thank the promoters of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for their inventiveness and imagination which will allow six more players to compete in what is already a world-class field.
“No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight and this intervention, should it be required, will rule out that necessity.
“The wonderful amphitheatre created by the huge hospitality units and grandstands around the ninth and 18th greens at the Emirates Golf Club is already one of the most atmospheric arenas on our Tour and that element will only be increased by this idea.”
The 29th edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic will be staged from January 25-28, and will be headlined by defending champion and the reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, alongside four-time Major champion and two-time Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner Rory McIlroy.
They are joined by fellow Major champions Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett, alongside European Ryder Cup legends Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.