DUBAI -- European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and celebrated Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh will renew their healthy rivalry when they compete alongside a strong star cast in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club Feb. 4 to 7.
The pair returns to Dubai imbued with a new sense of optimism having been honored with the captaincy of Europe and Asia for this year's EurAsia Cup to be held at Kuala Lumpur's Glenmarie Golf and Country Club Jan. 15-17.
Perennial crowd favorites and long-time friends enjoy a special affinity with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as 2011 Open champion Clarke, who is also the patron of the MENA Golf Tour, will be making his 21st appearance in the event and Singh, a golf in Dubai ambassador, his 20th in the longest-running European Tour event in the region.
"The aim is to try and win the tournament. I know I am close, but when it comes to winning a tournament, it also depends on the mindset that week and how you deal with the pressure," said Singh, a former Asian Tour No. 1 who has won 20 times around the world including four European Tour victories.
"I have won tournaments in different parts of the world, but winning in Dubai would be special," said the most successful Indian golfer. "Being an ambassador of golf in Dubai, the tournament is very close to my heart. I have always felt very good being there. In fact, I call it a home away from home.
"It's a great honor to be part of the 'golf in DUBAi' team. They have done a tremendous job in raising the golfing profile of this brilliant city. They're lovely people and look after us so well," said Singh, who celebrated his 44th birthday in December.
Fitter and stronger after stepping up his exercise regime, Clarke is equally excited about his participation in the event, promoted and organied by golf in Dubai.
"I have seen Dubai grow dramatically over the years with my regular appearances in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic," said the popular Ulsterman, whose impressive CV features 22 wins worldwide, including 14 on the European Tour, in addition to making five consecutive Ryder Cup appearances between 1997 and 2006.
"I am more comfortable with myself, just trying to be a lot more consistent. I just want to play some good golf. I am going to continue working on all the things I have been recently.
"My policy is to work hard and just keep going," said Clarke, who in his new role as the Patron of the MENA Golf Tour provides strategic input into the planning, implementation and management of dynamic programmes that leverage the game of golf.
This article was from Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.