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Els back at Byron Nelson for first time since 2006

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IRVING, Texas – Ernie Els is competing at the Byron Nelson Championship for the first time since 2006, but it’s a tournament he’s wanted to play again for years.

“Because of that tournament in England that had the same damn date for so many years – and we redesigned the course, so I had a commitment to go there,” he said Wednesday. “But I always wanted to come back here, and now that they changed the date in England, I'm grateful for that.”

When asked again about the event’s timing, the Big Easy reiterated his need to play abroad in what has often been an opposite event on the European Tour.

“I had to play in the U.K. because of the redesign of the course,” he explained. “It's tough when the guy that redesigns a course doesn't show up, so I had a commitment to do that.”

In eight career starts at the Nelson, Els owns four top-10 finishes, including a victory in 1995.