Open Champion Shane Lowry leads Hero Challenge starcast in Dubai

V Krishnaswamy Dubai | Updated on November 20, 2019

The Hero Challenge series for 2019 will be held the Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai

The Hero Challenge series for 2019 comes to an end alongside the European Tour for the year as six stars, including four Major Champions, battle it out at the Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

The reigning Open Champion, Shane Lowry, leads a starcast of Major Champions — Patrick Reed (2018 Masters), Henrik Stenson (2016 Open) and Danny Willett (2016 Masters) — besides European Tour winners Rafa Cabrera Bello and Erik van Rooyen, who bagged the Scandinavian Invitational, will clash in the final Hero Challenge of 2019.

The six go head-to-head in the innovative shootout under the lights, ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the eighth Rolex Series event of 2019.

Stenson, who had made Dubai his home a few years ago but now spends more time in Orlando, won the Hero Challenge title last year in Dubai. American Patrick Reed, who is now a regular in big events on the European Tour, especially at the start and towards the end of the season, will also be looking at another crack at the Hero Challenge, having won it once before in 2017 in Scotland.

With no player ever having won the Hero Challenge more than once, both Stenson and Reed have a chance to become the first to do so.

Willett is the defending DP World Tour Champion, while Lowry, who won the Claret at Royal Portrush this July and is having the best season of his career, would love to give himself an early present before the DP World Tour Championship.

Cabrera Bello has played Hero Challenge more than once before while Van Rooyen, eighth in the Race to Dubai Rankings, makes his debut in the innovative shootout.

Stenson, the 2016 Open Champion, said: “The Hero Challenge is a great way to start the final week of the season and I’m looking forward to getting involved again and attempting to defend my title. Atlantis, The Palm is a spectacular place and it was amazing to play golf at such an iconic landmark. It was a lot of fun 12 months ago and I expect it to be even more competitive this time.’’

Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, said: “The Hero Challenge is one of the most unique and exciting events that we have been associated with globally. I am glad to see the Hero Challenge gain immense popularity over the past few years, attracting new fans to the sport. I wish all the players best of luck at the Hero Challenge and also the DP World Tour Championship.”

This year the Hero Challenge series began with the one played ahead of the British Masters, where the local star, Tommy Fleetwood emerged winner at Liverpool’s iconic Princes Docks. The second stop for the Hero Challenge was in Scotland where Matthew Fitzpatrick won the title in the week of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, which itself was won by the current European Tour’s Race to Dubai leader, Bernd Wiesberger.

Interestingly, Fleetwood won in South Africa last week and is among the main rivals for Wiesberger for the main Race to Dubai honours.

The Hero Challenge will be followed by the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, returns to Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday with the top 50 players on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai competing for the $3 million first prize — the richest prize in tournament golf.

Published on November 19, 2019

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