Golf stars prepare for Dubai Desert Classic

Golf fans living in Dubai will have the chance to see some of the world's top players in action later this month, when the annual Dubai Desert Classic returns.Held at the Emirates Golf Club, the European Tour-sanctioned event is due to run from Thursday January 31st to Sunday February 3rd this year and carries a prize pool of $2.5 million (£1.5 million).Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello is the defending champion, having won by a single stroke to lift the trophy in 2012. In fact, a Spanish golfer has triumphed at the Dubai Desert Classic for the last three years, with Miguel Angel Jimenez winning in 2010 and Alvaro Quiros emerging victorious in 2011.Although the broken leg he sustained while skiing recently will keep Jimenez out of this year's event, plenty of other leading players are expected to compete in Dubai.One of them will be India's Jeev Milka Singh, who recently spoke about his hopes for the tournament and his love of playing in the emirate."Dubai is a fantastic place and is fast becoming one of the most important centres for world golf. I have always felt very good being there," the 41-year-old told the European Tour website."I have this good feeling that I would do well in Dubai as I am striking the ball pretty well," added Singh, who is India's most successful golfer with four European Tour wins to his name.Previous winners of the Dubai Desert Classic, which was inaugurated in 1989 as the first European Tour event to take place in the Middle East, include Tiger Woods, Jose Maria Olazabal and world number one Rory McIlroy.South African star Ernie Els is the most successful player in the tournament's history, having won the title on three occasions.

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