The European Tour's Desert Swing gets underway next week at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and it'll definitely be one to watch for a whole slew of reasons.
Many of the much-hyped young guns of golf will be in contention, including Rory McIlroy, Camilo Villegas, and Anthony Kim. Sergio Garcia will start his 2010 season in Abu Dhabi, and you can also look for exciting players like Alvaro Quiros and the Molinari Brothers.
In addition to the above mentioned stars there'll be a couple of golfers you may not be familiar with. Two of the Arab world's most winning young players are set to make their Abu Dhabi debuts next week as well.
Twenty-three-year-old Othman Al Mulla has played in European Tour events before, in Dubai and Qatar, and has won a number of amateur tournaments across the Gulf. He's from Saudi Arabia. Ahmad Al Musharrakh is from the UAE and recently completed a third post-grad year at the IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy. In mid-December he won the DSCA Open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The young men are both part of a Youth Golf Development Program being promoted by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
Here in the US, there are lots of misconceptions about the people and culture of the Middle East and I think it's great to see Middle Eastern players on an international stage.