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Faldo faces Campbell in Matchplay

Nick Faldo faces New Zealander Michael Campbell for the right to take on top seed and defending champion Ian Woosnam at the World Matchplay Championship, which starts on Thursday.

The 45-year-old, who has won the tournament twice on Wentworth's West Course, has had a return to form this year after several seasons struggling to recapture the play which helped him claim six majors at the height of his career.

The top four seeds in the 12-man field receive byes into the second stage of the tournament, with the other eight pairing off to compete over two rounds of the course on Thursday for the chance to join them.

Faldo will be the underdog against Kiwi Campbell who is seeded eighth and ranked 19th in the world.

Either man would have their work cut out against Woosnam, who entered last year's event as a wildcard and upset a string of leading players before beating Ireland's Ryder Cup player Padraig Harrington in the low-scoring final.

The Welshman, 44, is still a regular threat on the European Tour and was in the final round shake-up in last weekend's Lancome Trophy in Versaille before a couple of late bogeys scuppered his chances.

British Open champion Ernie Els, a three-times former winner, could face Europe's Ryder Cup top-scorer in their win over the United States last month, Colin Montgomerie, in the second round.

First, 1999 winner Montgomerie must beat the only American in the field, Fred Funk, who set the pace at this year's USPGA Championship before losing out to Rich Beem at Hazeltine.

Harrington takes on the highly respected Canadian Mike Weir in the first round for the right to play his European Ryder Cup team mate Sergio Garcia, while event debutant Justin Rose plays twice-major winner Vijay Singh.

Following is the draw for Thursday's first round of the World Matchplay Championship (prefix number denotes seeding, tee times GMT):

0900/1315 - 8-Michael Campbell (New Zealand) v Nick Faldo


Winner to play 1-Ian Woosnam (Britain)

0915/1330 - 5-Padraig Harrington (Ireland) v Mike Weir (Canada)

Winner to play 4-Sergio Garcia (Spain)

0930/1345 - 6-Vijay Singh (Fiji) v Justin Rose (Britain)

Winner to play 3-Retief Goosen (South Africa)

0945/1400 7-Colin Montgomerie (Britain) v Fred Funk (U.S.)

Winner to play 2-Ernie Els

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