Dubai: Lee Westwood fresh from his first international title win in three years and his first in four years on European Tour, will be among the six-man field teeing off at the Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai late on Tuesday night at the third staging of the Hero Challenge this year.
Apart from Westwood, the field includes India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who becomes the first Indian to feature in the challenge, which is telecast live and has found new audience among the youth who want quick-fire and entertainign version of golf.
Westwood will hope to carry on his form from the Nedbank Challenge where he won a title after a long time. “It does feel great to come from such a win, ” said Westwood.
Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn, reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, the 2018 Masters Tournament champion Patrick Reed, two-time Race to Dubai winner and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson are the other players.
Westwood is one of the two past winners of the innovative shoot-out contest. Westwood won it when he played the host at the British Masters last year, while Patrick Reed has also won it once. The event takes place ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
Past winners include American Matt Kuchar, who triumphed at historic Edinburgh Castle in Scotland’s and on Sunday won the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.
Bjørn, who led Team Europe to a 17½ - 10½ victory over the United States at Le Golf National in September, said: “I experienced the Hero Challenge in London recently and I’m looking forward to taking part again in yet another iconic location. It will be a great way to get the 10th anniversary week of the DP World Tour Championship started.”
Fleetwood, who had a memorable Ryder Cup debut in Paris, winning four points our of five, said: “I took part in the Hero Challenge in Dubai last year, at the start of what turned out to be a fantastic week for me. It was a lot of fun, with a competitive edge, and I’m excited to get involved again next week.”
Sharma won his first two European Tour titles this season as he established himself as Indian golf’s latest star. He said: “I’m making my debut at the DP World Tour Championship this year and the Hero Challenge will be a great way to start an exciting week. My first experience of the Hero Challenge was at Edinburgh Castle and it will be very cool to tee it up in another world-famous venue.”