Tom Watson tess off in the Dubai Desert Classic tomorrow on a mission to win the tournament where he is appearing for the first time.

Last July the 60-year-old almost recorded a famous Open victory when he had a putt to win at Turnberry on the 72nd hole. The American eventually lost in a play-off to compatriot Stewart Cink, but the eight-time Major winner’s competitive nature has not been dented.

“I judge my year on if I win a golf tournament,” said Watson. “Very simple, and if I win a golf tournament, it’s been a success just a cut above. Even if I played lousy and I still won a golf tournament, that’s what I’m out here to do is still beat everybody. That’s when I get my jollies.”

Watson will have his work cut at the Emirates Golf Club where Rory McIlroy is looking to defend his title, although he believes the course will offer good scoring opportunities.

“I have to say, it’s pretty straightforward how to play this golf course. You put the ball in the fairway, you have a chance. But there are always the idiosyncrasies of the certain shots that you have to play to, say, the 15th green that maybe I just don’t know and other players do know.” 

Where next?

Tournament preview: Dubai Desert Classic golf preview
Golf betting: Dubai Desert Classic golf betting
Equipment: Golf equipment reviews
Competitions: Win golf prizes