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David Toms enjoys the elite events

Former major winner David Toms relishes the unique experience and relaxed atmosphere at the World Golf Championships (WGC) events.

Limited to the top 50 players in the world plus a few other exemption categories, the elite WGC tournaments are just one rung down from the four majors.

"The best players in the world are here so, if you do happen to win, it's a bonus for you," American Toms told reporters on Wednesday during preparation for this week's WGC-CA Championship.

"All of these World Golf Championships are like that. Even though it's a very big event, it seems like guys approach it a little more low-key.

"I don't know if it's because there's no cut or they have got that guaranteed cheque or whatever it might be. It just has a nice atmosphere to it."

Toms, who won the 2005 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship after crushing compatriot Chris DiMarco 6&5 in the 36-hole final, has revelled this week in the low-key atmosphere at the Doral Resort & Spa.

"It has a different feel to it," the 40-year-old said after the last day of practice on the par-72 Blue Course.

"I've just played a few holes by myself and my caddie said: 'This is kind of nice being able to do this.'

"Usually everybody out here with a full-field tournament is grinding and practice rounds take forever. I was able to zip around pretty nice."

Toms, who tied for second at Doral last year after closing with a 67, accepts world number one Tiger Woods will start Thursday's opening round as overwhelming favourite.

Woods has won five of the seven editions of this tournament, and has triumphed 10 times in 15 starts in WGC strokeplay events.

"I just think that he's able to prepare for the big events," said Toms, whose only major victory came at the 2001 PGA Championship.

"Whatever he does to prepare, he's got it figured out because he plays well in all of the big tournaments.

"Maybe it's the golf courses. A lot of times we play very difficult, long golf courses in these tournaments. I think all of that factors into why he's had success.

"He just tends to play well in the big tournaments. He gets up for them mentally, physically. He paces himself."


March 22, 2007

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