World number two Rory McIlroy will be looking to keep up a proud record when he competes in the $2.65m Dubai Desert Classic in February.

The four-times Major champion won the event in 2009 and 2015 and has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven previous visits to the Emirates Golf Club.

"I have great memories of this tournament," said the Holywood man.

"I made the cut here for the first time in a European Tour event as a 17-year-old amateur in 2007 and it was here I secured my first professional win two years later.

"I will always cherish those important moments in the early part of my career. That first win was a real stepping-stone for me, helping my confidence and leading to the successes that followed."

Open champion and world number four Henrik Stenson and US Masters winner Danny Willett, who lifted the Dubai Classic trophy last year, are also in the field for the 2-5 February tournament.

The Dubai Classic is the last in the tour's three-event Middle East swing that also includes the Abu Dhabi Championship from January 19-22 and the Qatar Masters from January 26-29. 

World Rankings - 1 Jason Day (Australia) 10.91 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 9.83  3 Dustin Johnson (USA) 9.53 Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 8.69  Jordan Spieth (USA) 8.04  Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)       7.49  Adam Scott (Australia) 6.55 Patrick Reed (USA) 5.40 Alexander Noren (Sweden) 5.35 10 Bubba Watson (USA) 5.19  11 Danny Willett (England) 5.09 12 Rickie Fowler (USA) 4.97 13 Sergio Garcia (Spain)    4.73 14 Paul Casey (England) 4.70  15 Justin Rose (England) 4.44 16 Brooks Koepka (USA) 4.33 17 Branden Grace (South Africa) 4.31 18 Russell Knox (Scotland) 4.16  19 Phil Mickelson (USA) 4.10  20 Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.10 21 Jimmy Walker (USA) 3.99  22 Justin Thomas (USA) 3.97 23 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 3.67 24 Tyrrell Hatton (England) 3.67 25  Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) 3.61 26 Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 3.59  27  Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 3.50  28 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 3.45 29 J.B. Holmes (USA) 3.39 30 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) 3.38