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Sun City Million Dollar Challenge
Sun City looking to get ranking status back
Day 4: Els cruises to record win
Day 3: Els pulls six clear after 64
Day 2: Els surges to two shot lead
Day 1: Lawrie leads after fine opening 65
Els looking forward to million dollar bid
Olazabal plays down Garcia's chances

Els looking forward to million dollar bid

Ernie Els knows winning the Million Dollar Challenge is far more difficult than it looks. "It should be easy," he said. "There are only 11 other guys to beat."

This will be his eighth consecutive appearance in the Million Dollar Golf Challenge, a 12-man event that starts Thursday and is sponsored by Nedbank.

Seven of the world's top 20 players will be playing. However, this time the field is perhaps not as strong as previously. Certainly not as strong as in 1998 when Nick Price fought off Tiger Woods in a playoff. Woods is not playing here this year.

The good news for Els is that because of little rain the normally devilish rough off the lush fairways of the Gary Player Country Club is not as punishing as usual. So his long game will be rewarded.

But blocking his way is Price, who is trying to win this tournament three times in a row. The Zimbabwean has earned the most at this 18-year-old event with $3.84 million. He has the lowest average at 68.9 for 30 rounds. He had 24 birdies last year, one more than Woods.

And there is the winner of the European Order of Merit for the last seven years, Colin Montgomerie. The Scot won the tournament in 1996, beating Els at the third hole of the playoff.

Sergio Garcia is certain to have a following. While the course would normally punish his long and somewhat erratic game, the fairways are firmer than usual and the rough sparser.

There's also England's Lee Westwood, who last year led by two strokes going into the final round.

Paul Lawrie wants to cement his reputation after winning theOpen. John Huston would love a win after a season of second places took him to 16th in the Official World Golf Ranking. And Jim Furyk wants to stop the smirks about his swing.

The other four players are Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Darren Clarke, and Carlos Franco.