Defending champion Els is recovering from knee surgery, while Woods, Singh and Mickelson joined Sergio Garcia, Chris DiMarco, Fred Couples and Davis Love in deciding not to play.
No Americans are in the field, which was finalized Tuesday.
First played 40 years ago, the Sept. 15-18 event at Wentworth has 16 players and will count on the European Tour and world rankings. Players are invited based on their finishes in the four majors, four designated European tournaments and the European Order of Merit rankings.
Eight Europeans are in the field; David Howell, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, Kenneth Ferrie, Luke Donald, Thomas Bjorn, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal.
Completing the field are Australians Steve Elkington, Mark Hensby and Geoff Ogilvy; South Africans Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Tim Clark; New Zealand's reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and Argentina's Angel Cabrera.
The draw for the first round, based on world rankings, is: Goosen vs. Ferrie; Montgomerie vs. Hensby; Campbell vs. Elkington; Clark vs. Ogilvy; Donald vs. Langer; Bjorn vs. Olazabal; Howell vs. McGinley and Cabrera vs. Immelman.