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Els puts Dubai disaster behind him
Ernie Els lines up for the inaugural Indian Masters trophy after blowing his Dubai lead.
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2008 11:02 GMT

Ernie Els took a one-shot lead into the Dubai Desert Classic final round, but finished third [GALLO/GETTY]

Ernie Els, world number four, says his agonising loss to Tiger Woods in the Dubai Desert Classic is history and he is fully focused on winning the inaugural Indian Masters trophy this week.
Els began the final day at the Dubai Desert Classic four shots ahead of Woods but, needing a birdie to force a play-off, his approach to the green on the 18th went in the water costing him the tournament. He eventually finished third.
Despite the disappointment Els, who has made it his season's goal to win majors and close the gap on Woods, said he took positives out of the experience in his first event of the year.
 
"It was obviously a pretty disappointing way to end the tournament on Sunday. It's always tough to take, but I have to look at the week as a whole and try to draw some positive conclusions," Els said on his website.
 

"I have to put behind me what happened last week in Dubai. It's history, there's nothing I can do about it now."

Ernie Els

"I felt like I was swinging the club well and, considering it was my first tournament in six weeks, I was pretty sharp and competitive out there.
 
"In the end, like I said, it just came down to a couple of mistakes. Obviously I have to eliminate those from my game, but other than that everything is okay."
 
The 38-year-old South African is among the most widely-travelled golfers on the circuit, regularly globe-trotting to events in Asia, and he headlines the $2.5 million Indian Masters at Delhi Golf Club this week.
 
It is the first time the European Tour has visited India and Els said he was keen to be in New Delhi for the historic event.
 
Golf's emerging market
 
"Personally, I've been here before and it is definitely one of the game's big emerging markets," he said.
 
"So this is an exciting week for golf in the region; it provides the Indian players with a great opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world. It's obviously great for the fans here, too.
 
"I'm looking forward to the experience. I have to put behind me what happened last week in Dubai. It's history, there's nothing I can do about it now.
 
"What I can focus on are the positives; the fact that I was swinging the club well all week in Dubai, hitting my driver great, and that overall I felt comfortable with my game."
 
Local talent line up
 
Also in action this week are European stars Thomas Bjorn, David Howell, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, who finished fifth in Dubai.
 
Local hopes rest with Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal and Shiv Kapur, all of whom have plenty of experience on the European Tour.
 
Having played in Asia regularly Els knows it will be no walkover against the Indian contingent, along with Asian Tour stalwarts like Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant, Thongchai Jaidee and Prayed Marksaeng.
 
"I think the European Tour has really helped the Asian Tour to co-sanction events, to have the Asian players play against stronger fields, and I think the Asian players have really caught up well," Els said.
 
The Indian Masters trophy begins at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi on Thursday.
Source:
Agencies
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