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Ernie Els & Tiger Woods tee up in Dubai again

World number one Tiger Woods makes the long trek from the West Coast of the United States to renew his desert rivalry with Ernie Els at this week's Dubai Classic.

Joining holder Woods and three-times winner Els in the field for the third and final leg of the European Tour's 'Gulf Swing' are nine of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team.

Past champions David Howell, back after a 2 1/2 month break, and Colin Montgomerie compete alongside K Club colleagues Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson, Paul McGinley, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood.

Most of the focus will be on Woods, who has produced a remarkable run of nine victories in 12 tournaments dating back to last year's British Open at Hoylake, including seven in a row on the PGA Tour.

Woods, who lifted the Buick Invitational title in California on Sunday, won in thrilling fashion in Dubai 12 months ago.

The 12-times major champion went head to head with Els on the final day before squeezing past the South African in a playoff.

Els, winner in 2005, 2002 and 1994, is hunting an unprecedented fourth Dubai Classic title.

"It's great to see Tiger in Dubai again," Els told his official Web site (www.ernieels.com). "It's always a pleasure to compete against the best and try to beat the best.

"If I can go one better than last year it would be great."

Els goes into the $2.4 million tournament on a high, having finished third behind Qatar Masters champion Retief Goosen on Sunday.

Briton Casey stole the spotlight on the first leg of the 'Gulf Swing', landing the Abu Dhabi Championship trophy.

Former world number one Greg Norman and twice major winner Mark O'Meara will also be among the players on show at the Majlis course in Thursday's first round.

January 30, 2007


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