Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

TEEING OFF: Woods Won't Be Missed, Says Ernie

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

TEEING OFF: Woods Won't Be Missed, Says Ernie

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON LEWIS

ERNIE Els is relishing the opportunities for a wide open US PGA Championship this week in the absence of Tiger Woods, writes SIMON LEWIS.

As world number one Woods recuperates from season-ending knee surgery, unable to bid for a hat-trick of US PGA titles, Els yesterday said he was excited that this week's tournament at Oakland Hills near Detroit was now an event with no clear favourite.

"It's an opportunity for a lot of guys," Els said. "You look at guys who have not won majors, who at my age or even past my age who are playing well this year, they can break through. If you look at the world rankings from fifth to 20th, there are a lot of guys very bunched and playing very good golf.

"You guys can talk about players that you would never talk about if Tiger was around. So I think for the whole game, you can kind of educate the public about more players, too. So it's kind of nice."

With 93 out of the world's top 100 teeing off today, Els dismissed the idea the PGA Championship was in some way diminished by Woods' absence. …

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