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Tiger Woods Says “The Desert Is Also Mine”

Posted March. 03, 2004 22:57,   


“ Dubai is my territory. Back off,” said Ernie Els.

“ I don’t think so,” replied Tiger woods.

The “King of golf, ” Woods (29,·USA) and “Prince” Els (35, USA) clashed in the middle of the desert. The stage was is the EPGA Dubai Desert classic, which is kicking off on March 4 in the United Arab Emirates GC (par 72· 7264 yards), with prize money amounting up to $3.5 million.

Both players, who haven’t faced each other since the season opener Mercedes championship, will go toe to toe in the Dubai desert classic.

The Dubai desert classic was thought to be Els front yard. Els participated six times in the competition, won two championships and always finished in the top eight. Also, he recorded under-par scores in 22 out of 24 rounds and when he won in 1994, he grabbed 12 birdies to tie for the most number of birdies made in a round in an EPGA event. So the pressure will fall on the shoulders of the Accenture champion, Tiger Woods.

Woods showed up in the Dubai desert classic in 2001 but had a bad memory when he handed over the trophy to Thomas Bion (Denmark) with a double bogie on the 18th hole. Last year he waived the match due to the impending U.S. attack on Iraq.

This year, Woods won a PGA championship while Els won one PGA tour event (Sony open) and one EPGA tour (Heineken classic) event. At the Mercedes championship, Woods recorded a tie for fourth place with a score of 15 under par, and Els tied for 21st place with a four under par. Who will be the winner in the desert?

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com