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John Daly back to full fitness again

John Daly, who suffered rib and shoulder injuries in a freak incident last month, said he was fully fit for this week's $2.3 million Asian Open.

"I played in Houston before the U.S. Masters (earlier this month) and it was hurting a bit," the former British Open and U.S. PGA champion told reporters on Wednesday. "The shoulder had to be popped in three times.

"Last week was the first week I could have a go at everything. I feel strong."

The crowd-pulling American, hurt trying to stop his backswing after being distracted by a fan taking his picture at the Honda Classic in Florida, said he was looking forward to playing the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club.

"I've heard a lot of good things about the Tomson course," said the 40-year-old Daly.

Tournament favorite Ernie Els shrugged off the effects of jet-lag after his long journey from South Carolina where the weather-delayed Heritage Classic was completed on Monday.

"Last week was a crazy week, finishing on Monday," said the South African, who dropped his family off in London before taking another long haul to the Far East.

"I had a chance last week and I feel my game is very good."

Els, who finished second behind American Boo Weekley at the Heritage, is chasing his first win of the year and has happy memories of Shanghai.

The player known as the 'Big Easy' cruised to a 13-shot victory in the 2005 Asian Open.

"I played well that week and made a lot of putts. It was a very enjoyable week. I couldn't make it last year so I'm glad to be back this year," said Els.

"I'm sure the course will be in good shape. It was a long flight but we're just thankful we're here."


April 18, 2007

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