Singh: Dubai Open a welcome addition

Wed 12 Nov 2014

Singh: Dubai Open a welcome addition

Read this article on Asian Tour honorary member, Jeev Milkha Singh of India who shares his thoughts on the inaugural Dubai Open which is slated to take place in December.
(Article from
Dubai Open a welcome addition to Asian Tour calendar

  • By Jeev Milkha Singh, Special To Gulf News

  • Published: 17:44 November 11, 2014

The one tournament this year that I am really looking forward to is the Dubai Open, the new Asian Tour event that is being promoted by golf in DUBAi and will be played at The Els Club in the third week of December.
A new tournament is always very exciting for us players — it gives us one more trophy to vie for and it increases our earning opportunity. But, having been involved with golf in DUBAi for so many years as their brand ambassador, and having spoken so many times to Mohammad Juma Bu Amim and other officials during the planning stage, I have a fair knowledge of what they want to achieve with the Dubai Open — and I must compliment them their vision.
Given that the UAE hosts three of the biggest events on the European Tour, there are some who might question whether a smaller Asian Tour event would attract the interests of fans and sponsors.
Commercial considerations are always important, but the Dubai Open goes much beyond that. It is Bu Amim’s way of taking the Mena Tour — another fantastic initiative of his organisation — to another level, and thus provide better playing opportunities and better competition for players from the region.
The Asian Tour has given out 23 spots to players from the Mena Tour, which the European Tour would never have been able to do. They have also promised spots for Mena players in the Asian Development Tour and guaranteed entry for some of the top players into certain other Asian Tour events.
This is just huge for the Mena Tour players. To play on the Asian Tour means the chance to acquire some precious Official World Golf Ranking points, which is going to be so crucial if the region wants to make it to the Olympics in golf.
And the new tournament is mutually beneficial for the Asian Tour as well. It is a growing tour and is always looking at opportunities to go to new regions and, somehow, the Middle East was missing from its map ever since the Qatar Masters stopped being a co-sanctioned event.
I have a feeling that, given the strong Asian expat population in the UAE, the Dubai Open will become a very successful tournament in the near future.
Moving on, it looks like the Race to Dubai has been run and Rory McIlroy is a worthy winner. Despite all efforts by the European Tour to make it interesting and keep the excitement alive going into the DP World Tour Championship, it was not to be and Rory’s lead is now insurmountable.
I just hope there is no clamour now for a change in the format, because, as we have already seen in the past few years, the system is not broken. It just so happens that Rory has had one amazing season and let’s just salute his achievement and move on to the next season.
— Jeev Milkha Singh is a six-time Asian Tour winner and a four-time champion on the European Tour.