Georgia Hall, Minjee Lee and Lydia Ko will be among the headline acts playing under floodlights at this year’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, which returns to the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club from November 4-6.
Although the starting line up for the Ladies European Tour event is limited to just 56 players, competition for the $285,000 prize fund will be fierce, with five players from the confirmed field in the world’s top 50 and one player in the top ten.
The tournament, which was formerly known as the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Masters, was first played in 2006. The Faldo course, which was built with night golf in mind, was redesigned by Sir Nick Faldo in 2005 and reopened as a par-72 layout in 2006, with floodlights being an integral part of the course’s design.
This year’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic, which is set to take place behind closed doors and held within a safe environment, will mark the return of sporting events to Dubai and take place under the appropriately named theme ‘Time To Shine’, after many tournaments were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the challenge of organising tournament golf amidst an uncertain backdrop, Tournament Director Simon Corkill commented: “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.
“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 and day and night event which will be broadcast globally to 60 countries and 348 million households.”
The 2020 tournament has already secured some standout players from the women’s game, including defending champion Nuria Iturrioz, Solheim Cup players Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Céline Boutier and the 2021 captain, Catriona Matthew. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko will be hoping her first appearance in Dubai will continue her return to form in 2020 after a recent runner up finish at the Marathon Classic, while Australian Minjee Lee is currently ranked No.6 in the world and with three top-four finishes in five starts since the post-COVID resumption, she’ll be hoping to better her 11th-place finish in Dubai back in 2014.
The newly named and scheduled tournament has been switched from May to November after its first staging in spring 2019, when it achieved global recognition as the world’s first professional day-night tour event.