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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Wentworth absentees puzzle Seve
Seve Ballesteros
Seve Ballesteros says he is amazed that the world's leading golfers have snubbed the World Match Play.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia all decided to turn down a chance of playing in the event which has a 1m first prize.

"I don't understand why people don't show up in a tournament that has the prestige and prize money," he told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"It is a great tournament and match play is very special."

None of the world's top four players are competing at Wentworth, with only South African Ernie Els sidelined because of a knee injury.

And Ballesteros, who is hoping to return to action for the first time in 23 months in next month's Madrid Open, says the sport's leading players are missing one of the best events of the year.

My swings feels good, physically I'm in good shape and I feel optimistic
Seve Ballesteros

"It is a pity that they have not turned up," said the 48-year-old Spaniard.

"Match play is more tactical and offensive and the tournament itself is fantastic.

"It is played on one of the best golf courses in Europe which is always in good condition.

"The atmosphere is always fantastic, people always show up and it is always a spectacular tournament.

"There must be a reason. It is hard to believe that they do not show up."

Ballesteros has won the World Match Play five times and is in Britain for the Seve Trophy event at The Wynyard in County Durham next week.

He has been out of action since November 2003 but is confident of making a return in Madrid next month.

"My swings feels good, physically I'm in good shape and I feel optimistic," he added.

Interview: Seve Ballesteros


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