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European Tour chief announces floodlights may be used in Dubai

 

By Phil Casey

The first two rounds of next week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic could finish under floodlights, it has been announced.

With the £2.2million event taking place a week earlier than normal, the amount of daylight could prove a problem.

However, floodlights have been installed around the combined ninth and 18th greens on the Majlis Course at Emirates GC to ensure play can finish on schedule, allowing a field of 132 players rather than 126.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: "This is a wonderful idea and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport. We thank the promoters of the Dubai Desert Classic for their imagination which will allow six more players to compete in a world-class field.

"No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight, and this intervention, should it be required, will rule that out.

"The wonderful amphitheatre created by the huge hospitality units and grandstands around the ninth and 18th greens is already one of the most atmospheric on our Tour, and that element will only be increased."

Pelley has previously floated playing a full event under lights, although that received short shrift from 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett.

"That would be a useless idea,'' Willett said in 2016. "It would be okay for a giggle but not for a real tournament.''

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