As classics go, the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic lived up to, and exceeded every expectation. Thomas Björn, a winter resident in the Emirate, played all 72 holes in the exalted company of World Number One, Tiger Woods, and emerged as a worthy champion with a record 22 under par total of 266.
Björn, 30, displayed a granite resolve to complement his huge talent by shooting rounds of 64-66-68-69 to capture is sixth European Tour title at the Emirates Golf Club. The Dane finished two strokes ahead of Woods and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, who finished with a round of 69, while Swede Mathias Grönberg claimed fourth spot on 270.
It was only the fourth time that Woods had not triumphed in 27 tournaments in which he led going into the final round – a statistic which underlines the enormity of his achievement under the stress of spending all four days in the American’s often intimidating company.
Björn savoured the moment and said: “It doesn’t get much better than this. I am proud of what I did this week. To go out there and play with the guy for four days and beat him is probably any golfer’s dream.
Courtesy of the European Tour / Image: Credit: Getty Images