Els, a native of South Africa, said he badly needed a win at Sentosa Golf Club to end a victory drought that has lasted nearly 10 months -- unusual for a player who has claimed 45 victories worldwide in his career.
'It's been one of those seasons. It's September now and I have not won, and the season is coming to a close soon. I have to get something under my belt shortly,' Els said. 'I have to try and win.'
The 36-year-old Els' last victory came at the Dunhill Championship in December, when he returned to the course after about six months following a serious injury to his left knee.
His best finish this year was a confidence-building third place at the British Open in July.
'I feel with the work I'm putting in and if I keep grinding away, basically the win will not be too far away,' Els said.
The last time Els appeared in Singapore he blew a lead to China's Zhang Lianwei on the final few holes of the Singapore Masters.
Els is joined at the $3 million Singapore Open by defending champion Adam Scott of Australia, Michael Campbell of New Zealand, England's Lee Westwood and Japan's Shingo Katayama.
Campbell also is searching for his first win of the season, and said he was confident his 15 years of experience playing in Asia would help him do well.
'The thing about this week is I'm acclimatized,' Campbell said. 'I'm used to the humidity, the grasses here. I feel very comfortable here, that's one of the main things.'
Campbell said winning the U.S. Open in 2005 had placed pressure on him that affected his performance in subsequent tournaments, but he said he was happy with his form.
'Sometimes as a human being you can try too hard. This year I have been trying too hard,' he said. 'So I am trying to pull back the reins and just play golf, see what happens.'
Scott, meanwhile, is confident of repeating his success on the 7,169-yard, par-71 Serapong course.
'I have already heard the course is set up just as tough this year as last year. The rough is very long,' Scott said. 'I feel my game is at a level where I should be a strong contender.'
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