Tom Bushell rounds up the action on the local golfing circuit
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters continues this week, with the winner set to be crowned at Emirates Golf Club on Saturday December 8. You may have thought that the DP World Tour Championship was the end of the golfing season in the city, because it’s the end of the Race to Dubai – but, in fact, it’s only the beginning. The Ladies’ Masters marks the end of the Ladies’ European Tour, and Spanish star Carlota Ciganda is hoping to become the first female golfer to win the Order of Merit and Rookie of the Year award in the same season since Laura Davies did it in the ’80s.
Looking ahead, 2013 sees the golfing fraternity returning to Abu Dhabi on Thursday January 17 to continue the European Tour. The likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are confirmed to play, alongside Justin Rose – you must remember his astonishing putt on the 18th at the Earth course on the final day of the DP World Tour Championship in November. Rose has even announced he will start his 2013 campaign in the capital. That’s all before the Dubai Desert Classic returns to Emirates Golf Club on Monday January 28: the Majlis course has been completely renovated, with slight adjustments to certain holes and a better watering system creating an improved golf course.
In a different sporting world, Spanish football club Valencia CF could well be the next European team to set up base in the Middle East. Their president, Manuel Llorente, has been in Dubai recently and is keen to expand the club’s academy in the region. That’s good news for any aspiring footballer: the Valencia youth system has fostered the talent of Juan Mata of Chelsea, among others. English clubs are already well represented over here, with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all having school’s in the UAE, so there’s definitely room for Spain to set up shop. Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.
The World Parachuting Championships draw to a close this week, with the final jumps taking place on Sunday December 9. Many skydivers are hoping to break world records: in fact, the Guinness Book of Records has been on hand to witness any record attempt. Hopefully, by the time you read this, they will have jotted plenty down.