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Ernie Els confident Tiger won't dominate

World number three Ernie Els said Tiger Woods won't dominate golf again despite his recent resurgence in form.

Woods claimed his first stroke-play win in more than a year when he won the 4.5 million US dollar PGA Buick Invitational in La Jolla, California, last month.

The South African, here this week for a crack at winning his fourth straight Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne, said he could not see eight-time major winner Woods dominating the game as he did a few years ago.

"I can't see him being that dominant again," Els told a pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

"I think the guys have become better players and the way the game has changed with technology, I think everybody is closer.

"There's not a guy hitting it 30 yards (metres) past the other guy, the technology has brought a lot of the players a lot closer, the guys are a lot more confident and they have stepped up their games."

Woods' reign for 264 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings ended last September when Fijian Vijay Singh took over after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship.

"Since the end of last season Tiger has started playing better, he's got more confidence, but the other guys will be right there... I don't think he's going to be as dominant," Els said.

Els, who headlines the European Tour co-sanctioned Heineken Classic along with Colin Montgomerie, Stuart Appleby, Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Thomas Bjorn and Peter Lonard, said he has had time to reflect on missing out on all the four major tournaments.

"Last year was a very good year, but the four majors were disappointing, having four chances to win, but really blowing the one at the US Open," he said.

"But I've learnt a lot, I have had some time to reflect on last year, especially in the majors and there are a couple of things I can work on and improve and hopefully it makes a difference into this year's majors.

"I feel mentally I've come a long way over the last three or four years in my game, so I feel good about that.

"There are still a couple of technical things that I can better and I've started working on with my coach David Leadbetter and if I keep working on those things I think I'll become better and hopefully it will make a difference to winning a major this year.

"I know the courses very well where we're going to play the majors this year, so I feel I can have a good shot at it."

The two-time US Open champion and 2002 British Open winner finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson at the US Masters last year and lost to American Todd Hamilton in a four-hole playoff at the British Open. He was joint ninth behind fellow South African Retief Goosen at the US Open.

 

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