DUBAI: European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, world no. 14 Tommy Fleetwood, and four-time DP World Tour winner Ryan Fox are set to tee it up at the inaugural Dubai Invitational at Dubai Creek Resort from Jan. 11-14, 2024.
The trio join world no. 2 Rory McIlroy and his Ryder Cup teammate Nicolai Hojgaard, who won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last month, in the field featuring 60 professionals and 60 amateurs.
The Dubai Invitational will see a 72-hole strokeplay DP World Tour tournament played concurrently with a three-day team Pro-Am, with Sunday featuring professionals only.
Donald, who captained Team Europe to a 16½ – 11½ victory against the US in the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, was recently announced as Europe’s first repeat captain since Bernard Gallacher performed the role in 1991, 1993 and 1995.
The former world no. 1 will lead Europe at the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black in New York and is looking forward to the prospect of beginning his 2024 DP World Tour season in Dubai.
“It’s great to start my 2024 season at the Dubai Invitational,” said Donald. “We always get a lot of support from the fans when the tour visits Dubai. It’s a cool place to play golf and with the added novelty of this being a brand-new event on the calendar, I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic experience for everyone.”
Six-time DP World Tour winner and Dubai resident Fleetwood will make back-to-back appearances on the DP World Tour next month as the Englishman looks to build on momentum generated from an impressive 2023 season, which included his second Ryder Cup win, and a runner-up finish in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship.
“It’s always nice to play events in front of your friends and family, especially one with a Pro-Am format like the Dubai Invitational,” said Fleetwood, a proven winner in the UAE, following his back-to-back victories in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and 2018. “It’s great to have two weeks in Dubai and I hope that it will set me up for a big year.”
New Zealander Fox secured his biggest career victory to date at the 2023 BMW PGA Championship after posting a five-under-par round of 67 on Sunday to lift the famous trophy at Wentworth Club in England.
The 36-year-old now has four DP World Tour victories to his name, including the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which features similarities to the Pro-Am format at the Dubai Invitational.
“I’m really excited for what 2024 has to offer and kickstarting things at the Dubai Invitational will be a fun week,” said Fox. “I’ve always enjoyed playing the Pro-Am format; it’s a unique way for us to compete and I’ve had success playing alongside some interesting characters from all walks of life.”
With less than a month to go, excitement is building for a tournament that will not only showcase world-class golf but also offer spectators a range of exciting activities and experiences to enjoy, including golf activations, family entertainment and food and beverage offerings.
Tom Phillips, head of Middle East for the DP World Tour, said: “We’re excited to be launching the Dubai Invitational for the first time as part of our expanded 2024 DP World Tour schedule. The event will ensure we start the season in style, and we can’t wait to welcome 60 professionals and 60 amateurs to the fantastic Dubai Creek Resort in January.”
Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, added: “With less than one month to go, final preparations for the Dubai Invitational at the historic Dubai Creek Resort are well underway. We’re looking forward to hosting another DP World Tour event here in Dubai — one that promises to deliver something for everyone to enjoy.”
The first event on the International Swing on the DP World Tour’s new 2024 schedule, the Dubai Invitational will be played bi-annually in 2024, 2026 and 2028. Fans will be able to attend for free by registering in advance for general admission tickets.