The European Tour visits a new country for a new tournament this week as the players tee it up in the NBO Oman Open
Oman Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
The European Tour returns to the Middle East this week for the inaugural NBO Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat. Major champions Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie are among the star names on the entry list as is 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.
Oman becomes the 44th country to have hosted a European Tour event and the fourth Gulf State following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
Thomas Bjorn tees will be keeping a close eye on those with the potential to make his team for Paris, as well as trying to build on a solid recent performance in Abu Dhabi. The Dane also celebrates his 47th birthday this week.
Related: Genesis Open Preview, TV Times
Other former Ryder Cup stars in the field include, Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie, Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan, Victor Dubuisson, Edoardo Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson, David Howell and Robert Karlsson.
The course at Al Mouj was opened in 2012 and was designed by two-time Open winner Greg Norman. Measuring 7,342 yards, it’s been designed with the links in mind as it is set on the stunning Indian Ocean coastline.
The course is characterised by generous fairways lined by rolling dunes, large greens and clever bunkering. Although the venue is welcoming the European Tour for the first time, it’s been host to the Challenge Tour’s NBO Grand Final from 2015-2017 and, before that, the National Bank of Oman Classic in 2013 and 2014.
The weather forecast looks as expected – dry, sunny and pleasantly warm. Wind could be a factor on this coastal course but it looks set to be fairly calm this week.
Venue: Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman
Date: Feb 15-18
Course stats: par 72, 7,342 yards
Defending champion: Inaugural event
How to watch the NBO Oman Open
Thursday 15 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 6.30am
Friday 16 – Sky Sports Golf from 6.30am
Saturday 17 – Sky Sports Golf from 8am
Sunday 18 – Sky Sports Golf from 8am and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.30am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the NBO Oman Open?
Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £6.99 you can get a day pass, if you just wish to watch one of the rounds, or for just £10.99 you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.
Players to watch:
Andy Sullivan – He tends to play well in the Middle East – tied 2nd in the 2016 Dubai Desert Classic, second in the 2015 DP World Tour Championship. He’s also shown improving recent form with a tie for sixth in this year’s Dubai Desert Classic.
Jeunghun Wang – The Sout Korean played well in his last two starts in the Middle East. He was tied 15th in Abu Dhabi and tied sixth in Dubai. He’s a three-time winner on the European Tour and the last of those also came in the desert – The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters of last season.
Pablo Larrazabal – The Spaniard has a great deal of talent and showed good recent form with a tie for third in the Maybank Championship. He’s won before in the Gulf – The 2014 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Key hole: 18th. A spectacular closing par-4 of 465 yards, the waters of the Indian Ocean lie all down its left side. Danger lurks on both drive and approach and any player requiring par to win down this one will have to hold his nerve.
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