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Tour News (posted 27th August 1998)

O'Meara and Singh to play in World Matchplay; Woods yet to confirm


London - Mark O'Meara and Vijay Singh, winners of three of this year's four major titles, have been confirmed as entries in the World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth in October.

O'Meara, the Masters and Open champion, and PGA champion and World Matchplay titleholder Singh, are the only two players confirmed so far for the 12-man event.

World number one Tiger Woods is expected to be in the field although a spokesman for the organisers, the International Management Group (IMG), said it was not yet certain.

Woods, the 1997 Masters champion, is set to play in the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St Andrews from 8th - 11th October, the week before the Matchplay, and reports have said he will be in the Wentworth field.

"He's down to play," IMG spokesman Tony Greer said, adding an announement about the rest of the field would be made in the next few weeks.

U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen is another likely entrant. Greer said reports to that effect were "intelligent guesswork".

If he does, it will mean that the event will contain the winners of all four major titles for the first time in several years.

If the three major champions and Woods all play, it would leave three-times champion Ernie Els of South Africa outside the top four seeds who receive first-round byes.

The seeded positions traditionally go to the defending champion and the major champions, then to the player highest in the world rankings. Under that format, Singh, O'Meara, Janzen and Woods would be seeded and receive the byes.

If Els, who won from 1994 to 1996 to become the first player to take the title three successive times, does plays he would have to survive four 36-hole matches to regain the title.

He was deposed as champion by Singh in last year's final.