Bjorn to Lock Horns With Els in Dubai


Thomas Bjorn returns to the Emirates Golf Club this week, site of his last win on the European Tour, the Dubai Desert Classic.
Bjorn beat World No. 1 Tiger Woods last year by two strokes at 22-under 266. The duo was paired together on the last day, and entering the 17th hole, it looked like Woods would emerge the victor. However, a Bjorn birdie at No. 17 coupled with an unlikely Woods double-bogey at the closing par-5 18th saw the big Dane collect the finest victory of his career.
Unfortunately, there will be no rematch this time around. Woods elected to skip the tournament earlier in the season, and it just may be a good thing for Bjorn, following Tigers strong second-place showing at the Genuity Championship last week.
Instead, Bjorn will face Ernie Els, and in the end, this just might be a tougher assignment than handling Woods.
Els came out on top at the Genuity. He also won earlier in the year at the Heineken Classic. Needless to say, the South African is back on the kind of form that saw him take two U.S. Open titles.
Joining Els and Bjorn in Dubai will be a very strong cast, including Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Justin Rose and Ian Woosnam. Also in the field are Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Adam Scott and Malaysian Open winner Alastair Forsyth.
While Woods will not be making the journey overseas, his Orlando neighbor and friend Mark O'Meara is scheduled to compete. OMearas best performance of the year so far has been a tie for second at the Buick Invitational. He missed the cut at the Genuity last week.
On one final note, another Orlando-based player who missed the cut at Doral will not be traveling to Dubai. Seventeen-year-old Ty Tryon was offered a reported $1 million appearance fee to commit to the event, but he has declined.