Els and Harrington return for Singapore swing

Ernie Els has been known as a golfer who would go to all corners of the globe to help promote the game.

Not always was it to the benefit of his game. But even in the midst of a “three-year comeback” bid, the South African former British Open champion still finds time for Asia.

Els and Irish star Padraig Harrington have signed up to return to the Barclays Singapore Open, being held from October 29 to November 1 at the Serapong Course on Sentosa Island.

Recently, even Tiger Woods said that Els could have managed his comeback a bit better.

Almost three years ago, Els hatched a plan to return to the top of men’s golf. The idea was to be among the world’s leading players around this time.

Clearly, it has not gone exactly to plan. But he has showed in recent events that he has made progress and could, indeed, restore his A game in the near future.

Whatever his form, Asian fans adore him. Els and Harrington missed birdie putts on the final hole of last year’s Singapore Open that, had they sunk, would have forced a play-off with eventual winner Jeev Milkha Singh, of India.

Els also finished second in 2006, losing out to Australia’s Adam Scott in a three-hole play-off.

So, even though he will be thousands of miles from the US PGA Tour, Els has a history of doing well in Singapore. With his comeback plans still very much alive, victory in Singapore would do wonders for his confidence.

Also taking part are South Korean KJ Choi and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke. The Singapore event boasts prize money of US$5 million, making it the richest on the Asia Tour.

The tournament also received a further boost recently when it became part of the European Tour as well.

The 156-player field will comprise 65 players each from the Asian and European Tours along with 10 qualifying spots and nine invitations for four amateurs and three Singapore pros.

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