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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Els not afraid of Woods challenge
  • Live coverage on BBC2 from 1300 BST on Thursday (from 1000 on interactive TV via the red button)

    Ernie Els (L) and Tiger Woods
    Els (l) finished five shots behind Woods at this year's Open
    Ernie Els says players taking on Tiger Woods at the World Match Play Championship must focus on their own rounds to stand a chance of winning.

    Els has won the event - which begins on Thursday - six times, but has a mixed record when playing Woods.

    Els said: "Tiger is an unbelievable talent, but I think players should play their own game."

    Woods, who has been paired with Shaun Micheel in the first round, is chasing his sixth straight tournament victory.

    The South African was paired with Woods as the leading group for the third round of the Open at Hoylake.

    Michael Campbell v (16) Simon Khan
    (8) David Howell v (9) Colin Montgomerie
    (5) Retief Goosen v (12) Paul Casey
    (4) Adam Scott v (13) Mike Weir
    (3) Jim Furyk v (14) Robert Karlsson
    (6) Ernie Els v (11) Angel Cabrera
    (7) Luke Donald v (10) Tim Clark
    Tiger Woods v (15) Shaun Micheel

    Both came away with 71s - although Els ended up third to eventual winner Woods.

    "When I played with him at the Open in the third round I tried to play my own game," added Els.

    "He was hitting irons off every tee and I was playing the course the way I did it in the first two rounds, trying to play it aggressively and hit some drivers - basically try to play my own way."

    Els begins his World Match Play quest against the big-hitting Argentine Angel Cabrera.

    But the world number seven is already looking forward to bigger battles at Wentworth.

    "If I play Woods this week I've got as good chance as ever to beat him because I have got a good record here," said Els.

    "I've played some good golf around the course and I've beaten some really excellent players here in the past."

    Els, who lost to Adam Scott in a play-off at the Singapore Open last week, was unable to defend his World Match Play title last year because of a knee injury.

    But he insists now that the injury is much better than it was.

    "I have been trying to get the knee where I don't have to think about it on the golf swing," he said.

    "I still feel it every now and again but it is 400% better than it was, say, in March."

    Thursday tee-times (all times BST):
    0736 and 1206 (1) Michael Campbell (Nzl) v (16) Simon Khan (Eng)
    0748 and 1218 (8) David Howell (Eng) v (9) Colin Montgomerie (Sco)
    0800 and 1230 (5) Retief Goosen (Rsa) v (12) Paul Casey (Eng)
    0812 and 1242 (4) Adam Scott (Aus) v (13) Mike Weir (Can)
    0824 and 1254 (3) Jim Furyk (USA) v (14) Robert Karlsson (Swe)
    0836 and 1306 (6) Ernie Els (Rsa) v (11) Angel Cabrera (Arg)
    0848 and 1318 (7) Luke Donald (Eng) v Tim Clark (Rsa)
    0900 and 1330 (2) Tiger Woods (USA) v (15) Shaun Micheel (USA)

    Matchplay guide
    13 Sep 06 |  Golf
    The Tiger v Ernie show
    22 Jul 06 |  Golf
    TV and radio golf coverage
    14 Apr 06 |  Golf


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