To honour the memory of Seve Ballesteroes on the landmark 25th anniversary celebrations of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, golf in DUBAi has extended a special invitation to his eldest son to join a star-studded field, highlighted by the presence world number one Tiger Woods and Northern Irish sensation Rory McIlory among other past champions.
“We have invited all former champions to join the celebrations. We would have loved to see Seve in the field. Sadly he is no more with us today, but he will always be in our heart and thoughts,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAI.
“Seve was a great champion and an even greater human being, who transformed European golf. We hope the presence of Javier will help keep the Seve spirit alive. Javier is young and talented and has good qualities to become a worthy successor to his father’s legacy. I wish him the very best and hope he has a wonderful trip to Dubai,” he said.
Javier has already taken the first step on the road to following in the footsteps of his legendary father – a five-time major champion and Ryder Cup-winning player and captain – when he made his debut on the Challenge in April this year.
He may have missed the cut, but described it as a very good experience. ‘My mother and father always supported me to play golf, but both always told me that studies come first,’ he said.
With so many big names in the field, it will be fun to play in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. I am really grateful to golf in DUBAi for remembering my father and giving me the chance to play.
I really appreciate their gesture and congratulate them on behalf of my family on the 25th anniversary of the event,” said Javier, who won the amateur Madrid Open last year.
“I am looking forward to visiting Dubai and playing on the same course where my father’s victory in 1992 is still talked about. It’s going to be a double excitement for me.”
The 25th edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic gets under way at Emirates Golf Club from January 30th to February 2nd, 2014. The tournament will be preceded by the Champions Challenge 18-hole stroke-play event, featuring past winners, on January 28th.