“I still believe my best golf is ahead of me”
Golf Digest Middle East|February 2021
JUSTIN ROSE WILL MAKE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB SINCE 2009 HAPPILY SUBSCRIBING TO THE THEORY THAT LIFE BEGINS AT 40
Kent Gray

I thought 2020 sounded like a fun and cool year. I was turning 40 and I had a few birthday plans in the summer and everything got cancelled and rearranged because the pandemic was progressing. The layers of complication around logistics were also one of the biggest things for us as we had to make sure we have the correct documentations to travel, quarantining upon arrival, all of these things made the situation much more complicated to handle. But from the health point of view I realised that we are very fortunate.

I do feel very lucky that none of my family has any health challenges and scares with Covid-19, although some of us have tested positive. My mom is the one we are trying to protect, she is in her 70s, she is the matriarch of the family and I think all of that behaviour is aligned to keeping her safe. Watching her have to bear the brunt of it, to be isolated, to be more vulnerable, has been very difficult to watch this year.

I am excited to return to the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic for the first time since 2009. It is a great run of events, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia. Dubai has always been a place where I love playing in, I have always enjoyed the season ending event, the DP World Tour Championship, but to have the opportunity to play the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic fits really well in that three-week run is really fun.

The Majlis course, there has been some challenging tee shots, picking the lines is tricky. There are a few dog legs out there, you don’t quite see the ball finish at times off the tee. I am going to have refresh my memory and have a couple of good practice rounds and rely upon the ProAm as well as my final practice round to really have my eyes on the course. That’s all well and good but sometimes these lines constantly change given different wind conditions, so I am definitely going to have to be on my toes to get up to speed at the golf course.

For me, gaining distance isn’t really part of my plan. At 40 years old it’s a dangerous play and I don’t think we have seen the fallout really from the players at the moment trying to achieve that big peak in distance. With that comes risk and I just don’t think it would be a smart thing for me to try that.

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