2019 Oman Open Preview
After a couple of weeks down in Australia, the European Tour returns to the desert for this week’s Oman Open.
Picture the desert and you probably imagine wide-open spaces, lots of sand and dry heat, but this assignment in Oman is a little different.
Okay, so it will be hot this week with the mercury touching 86 degrees, but the players will be treated to lush green landscapes and flat fairways reminiscent of traditional Links layouts.
Indeed, the designer is one Greg Norman, whose love of old-fashioned Links tests is well documented, and so there is something of the European about this Middle Eastern stretch.
Joost Luiten of Netherlands plays a shot on the 13th hole during Day Two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 17, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
A number of holes are played along the seafront too, so it’s no surprise to learn that the wind could be a chief factor; an eye-watering 22mph gale has been forecast for the Saturday.
The ‘Links in the desert’ feel is confirmed by an almost complete absence of trees, although bunkering and water hazards will at least give those in the field something to avoid.
But the Paspalum green complexes are mammoth in size, and with such easy approaches it really could be a case of who best handles the wind – and who putts the best – as to who gets their hand on the trophy this week.
Here’s the roster we are taking into battle for the Oman Open.
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