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Woods/Duval favourites to retain title

Tiger Woods and David Duval will be the last pair out in the opening round of the EMC World Cup in Japan.

They have been drawn with home favourites Toshimitsu Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama for the opening series of fourballs.

The duo are hot favourites to repeat their success in Argentina 12 months ago where they held off a spirited challenge from local heroes Angel Cabrera and Eduardo Romero.

Cabrera and Romero are back to challenge again for the $1million top prize and are in the fifth match out for Thursday's opening round.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen are the first pair out alongside French duo Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin.

The English pairing of Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, aiming to repeat Nick Faldo and David Carter's success in New Zealand in 1998, begin their challenge in the second match out with the Franco brothers, Carlos and Angel, of Paraguay.

Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson are in the third match out, immediately followed by Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.

The 1997 winners at Kiawah Island are one of the favourites to give Woods and Duval a real run for their money.

Welsh duo Ian Woosnam and Mark Mouland are out at 9:54am, with the strongly fancied South African pairing of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen following two matches behind.

The 24 teams will play fourballs on Thursday and Saturday with foursomes on Friday and Sunday, the lowest aggregate total deciding the winners.


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