Pros advice

Willett excited by Tiger Woods' presence in Dubai

Defending Dubai Desert Classic champion Danny Willett has said that this weeks’ tournament at Emirates Golf Club will be "extra special" due to Tiger Woods being among the players on the field.

Willett, who won The Masters last year, will play with 14-time major winner Woods in the first two rounds in Dubai.

Willett says he’s delighted to be sharing the green with Tiger, who is making his first regular European Tour appearance in three years after missing the cut on his return to the PGA Tour last week following lengthy injury hold-ups.

"Every event that we play on The European Tour, they are all fantastic golf events. But when Rory [McIlroy] is here or when Tiger is here, it makes it that little bit extra special," said Willett.

"To see Tiger playing last week, I watched pretty much every shot of his two rounds and it was just great seeing him back in action. So I think he's coming here, as he always is, to try and win.

"I think that's great for The European Tour to have arguably the greatest player of all time come to Dubai and to try and take that championship trophy away on Sunday."

Willett makes no secret of the fact Tiger Woods has been a constant source of inspiration for him over the years, and cites the new TaylorMade players famous chip-in at Augusta’s 16th hole at the 2005 Masters.

"My first memories of him are chipping in at 16 at Augusta," Willett recalled.

"I was kind of really getting into golf then and you see that, it was almost like the perfect advert for that tournament. I remember that shot ... him and Stevie [Steve Williams, Woods' caddie] going crazy and the cameras shaking and the ball just dropping in.

"It's those moments I think he created for guys that are my kind of age, that really spurred them on to train harder and to practise harder and to try and accomplish even a miniscule amount of what he has."



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