While coronavirus travel restrictions have scuttled the best laid plans of multiple overseas golf tournaments, this year’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club is all set to tee off November 4-6. The star wattage for the day-night floodlit spectacle which marks Dubai’s return to hosting pro sporting events is as bright as the LEDs illuminating the fairways of the Faldo Course. Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Lydia Ko, and Minjee Lee are among the headliners of the 56-woman field vying for a share of a $285,000 purse.
“2020 has been a very difficult year globally, not just for sports, and as such we are very grateful to Dubai Sports Council and all our partners; without their support this tournament simply wouldn’t have been possible,” explained Tournament Director, Simon Corkill. “With some of the game’s best players set to attend this year’s tournament, we’ve gone above and beyond to ensure the necessary safety precautions are in place for November. Whilst we won’t be able to welcome spectators this year, we are delighted that Dubai will host the unique day and night event which will be broadcast globally to 60 countries and 348m households.”
Australia’s top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee (6th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings) has been hot to trot since coming back from the pandemic pause with three top-5 finishes including a 3rd place showing at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon.
“It will be great being back in Dubai competing again and this will be my first time playing under the floodlights with the backdrop of the nighttime Dubai skyline, which I am sure will be an incredible experience,” said Minjee Lee. “As golfers, we are incredibly lucky to be able to compete and play golf all around the world, on so many beautiful golf courses in so many amazing locations. I just can’t wait to get out under the lights come November and try something new. Having previously secured a top-20 finish in Dubai before, hopefully my game will be able to adapt to the conditions and my performance will give me a chance to compete.”
English professional Georgia Hall who scored her second LPGA victory last month in a playoff over South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai is also eager to experience night golf competition.
“The prospect of being back out in Dubai where I first played in 2014 as a teenager is an exciting one,” said Georgia Hall. I’m looking forward to finishing off the season in style and playing under the floodlights for the first time will be something new for my game to have to adapt to, it’s incredibly exciting for the players and we are very grateful that we have the opportunity to safely compete together once again.”
The Moonlight Classic kicks off a Ladies European Tour Middle East swing that continues with the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund (November 12-15) and the Saudi Ladies Team International (November 17-19). The purses for these two new LET events, both taking place at Royal Greens Golf Club, are $1 million and $500,000 respectively.