Rory McIlroy to CLASH with 9 LIV Golf players at Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy will compete in his first event of the year in Dubai, and he will be joined by some familiar faces from LIV Golf such as Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed.

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 16 Jan 2023
Rory McIlroy to CLASH with 9 LIV Golf players at Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy will tee off his 2023 campaign at the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour next week, and he will be joined by a host of LIV Golf players including Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed.

According to the entry list ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic, a total of nine players with current ties to LIV Golf will be lining up at the iconic Emirates Golf Club.

These players include Poulter, Westwood, Reed, Henrik Stenson, Adrian Otaegui, Bernd Wiesberger, Sam Horsfield, Laurie Canter and Abraham Ancer.

The week will be key for the above nine players as they remain point-less when it comes to LIV Golf tournaments acquiring any Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. 

Poulter last week fired multiple shots in the direction of the DP World Tour, especially CEO Keith Pelley. 

He also did not kindly to him and Sergio Garcia not receiving any Happy Birthday messages from the Ryder Cup Europe Twitter account. 

Westwood has also hit out at the behaviour of the DP World Tour, but he said he will "not lose sleep."

Five other professionals who played in at least one LIV Golf tournament last year are also in the field this week, including Pablo Larrazabal, Oliver Bekker, Hennie du Plessis, Shaun Norris and Justin Harding. 

As for whether any of those five players have any future involvement on LIV Golf remains to be seen. 

For Rory McIlroy, it will mark his first competitive start of 2023 and his first event since wrapping up a fourth Race to Dubai title on the DP World Tour in November. 

He will also be armed with his brand new TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Driver

McIlroy, despite not playing on the PGA Tour so far this year, remains in the World No.1 spot for a 13th consecutive week and a 119th week cumulatively. 

The Northern Irishman won his first ever European Tour (now DP World Tour) title at the Dubai Desert Classic with a one-shot victory over Justin Rose in 2009.

McIlroy then added a second victory in the tournament with a three-shot win over Alex Noren in 2015. 

Next Page: Sir Nick Faldo lands new job with DP World Tour: "It's a real honour"