Els targeted in India

NEW DELHI - The Asian Tour's elite have Ernie Els, left, in their sights at the inaugural Indian Masters this week, looking to pile more misery on the South African after his defeat to Tiger Woods in Dubai.

NEW DELHI - The Asian Tour's elite have Ernie Els, left, in their sights at the inaugural Indian Masters this week, looking to pile more misery on the South African after his defeat to Tiger Woods in Dubai.

The world No 4 leads the cast at the $2,5 million (about R18,7million) tournament that marks the European Tour's debut in a country where the sport is booming.

He got his first feel for the picturesque par-71 Lodhi course at Delhi Golf Club when he teamed with local hero Arjun Atwal to win a challenge match ahead of India's Jeev Milkha Singh and US veteran Mark O'Meara.

The "Big Easy" insists his last-hole defeat to the unstoppable Woods at the Desert Classic on Sunday was disappointing, but has already been forgotten.

"It was my first event of the year, I'd taken a very long break. The feeling that I should have won is tough to take, but I can't kill myself," he said.

Also in the field is Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who finished fifth in Dubai and will be keen to keep his fine run of form going. The Ryder Cup trio of Thomas Bjorn, David Howell and Darren Clarke are all looking to rediscover their touch. Englishman Howell, in particular, feels he has a point to prove after slipping down the world rankings.

The biggest threat to Els though could come from a stellar line-up of Asian Tour regulars including Thailand's Chapchai Nirat and Prayad Marksaeng, and the strong Indian presence here. Local hopes rest with Singh, Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa, and Shiv Kapur, all of whom are familiar with the course. - Sapa-AFP

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