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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Karlsson will defend Wales crown
Robert Karlsson
Karlsson won by three shots at last year's Wales Open
Ryder Cup hero Robert Karlsson will defend his Wales Open title at the Celtic Manor (31 May to 2 June).

Swede Karlsson, whose victory ended a four-years barren run, is one of a number of top stars on their way to the Celtic Manor this year.

Former US Open champion Retief Goosen will be making his Wales Open debut, becoming the highest world ranked player to compete at the event.

Home favourite Ian Woosnam is also hoping to play despite recent problems.

Woosnam, 49, pulled out of the Madrid and Italian Opens with a leg problem and withdrew before the Masters started with related back trouble.

But he has been told that the problem is a virus, not the rheumatic disease he has battled with for 20 years.

Karlsson said: "I'm very much looking forward to making a return for this year's Celtic Manor Wales Open and hope to recapture the form I showed in the tournament last year.

"I played some of my best golf during the first three days and, despite a bit of a wobble in the last round, I was very pleased to bounce back with some birdies and to win such a big tournament."

This year's tournament will again be played on the Roman Road course while work continues on the 2010 Ryder Cup Wentwood Lakes course.

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