Stenson Hopes to Build on 'Special Win' at the 2015 Omega Dubai Desert Classic


Henrik Stenson believes memories of his "special win" at the 2007 Omega Dubai Desert Classic will drive him to more success when he returns to compete in the longest-running European Tour event in the region in January.

One of the greatest golfing talents to emerge from Sweden, Stenson played 72 holes in the exalted company of Ernie Els, eventually beating the South African legend by one shot with a seven-foot birdie on the final green

That classic victory in a tournament that attracted the likes of then world number one Tiger Woods, marked a big step in the career of Stenson, who since has risen to number two in the world rankings and won tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic.

"It was a great week for me, holding off such a great player in front of family and friends made it even more special. Like they say, once a champion, always a champion. And it's nice to see your name on the trophy and on the wall in the clubhouse," said Stenson who has been a regular to Dubai since joining the European Tour in 2001.

"Dubai will always mean a lot to me. It is nice that I was able to win this tournament. I will always feel at home here," said Stenson who knows the Majlis course the back of his hand, having made Dubai his home for close to ten years before being moving to Florida in 2012.

"It (the course) has always been in a great shape and it's a tribute to all the hard work put in by the greenkeepers," said the 38-year-old Swede ahead of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic which starts on January 29.

"The finishing holes at the Majlis are quite interesting in the sense that they offer you a realistic chance of picking up three shots. The short par-4, 17th is a good birdie hole and on the 18th, you can be aggressive and aim for an eagle," who enjoyed a purple patch in 2013, winning the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and European Tour's Race to Dubai titles. Henrik also posted his top finish in a Major, finishing runner-up to Phil Mickelson at The Open

Fresh off making it two in a row at the DP World Tour Championship, Stenson will be hoping to keep up the good work with a strong showing at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

"It is one of my favourite weeks on the tour and I always look forward to it," said Stenson, who boasts 17 wins worldwide, including nine on the European Tour and four on the PGA Tour besides making three appearances in the Ryder Cup.

"Henrik is the man of the moment in world golf after his impressive run of success on both the PGA and European tours," said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, the promoters and organisers of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

"It is a tribute to his hard work and dedication to golf that despite suffering a loss of form as recently as just three years ago he kept faith in his ability and returned to the top echelon of the world golf rankings, setting an example for fellow golfers.

"A great friend of golf in DUBAi, Henrik has been a staunch supporter of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and his victory in 2007 is still fresh in our minds. If his current form is any indication, I am sure we will see Henrik deliver another master class on the Majlis. I wish him the very best."

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is backed by OMEGA as the title sponsor and Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC as sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels, Mercedes and wasl, while Dubai Duty Free, Neocasa Interiors and Motivate Publishing are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi's drive to showcase the emirate's vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.