Golf News for Friday, February 15, 2008 | Daily Golf Blogs

Chris Baldwin: Els shows some backbone in deciding to play Match Play in Tucson

Ernie Els planned to skip the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship (these tournament titles just roll off your tongue now, huh?) in Tucson next week. Els would have been the only player in the top 64 who missed the tournament by choice rather than injury.

Then, Els talked some sense into himself.

The Big Easy will be in the desert, giving him his first chance to shake off his big choke in Dubai. That's when Els did everything but throw up on himself while helping to keep Tiger Woods' unspoken goal of an undefeated season alive. Els needs Tucson. He needs to come back in a tournament where Tiger is looming (rather than the following week's Honda Classic as first planned). Els should be pulling for the bracket to break down so that he ends up in a match with Tiger at some point.

Then he probably will throw up on himself.

Still, Els needs to keep getting in positions where he'll face Woods. As a little side bonus, Els joining the field will give Tiger a much tougher first-round matchup with FBR Open champ JB Holmes. Forget all the Anthony Kim hype from fools like Ron Mon and Mark O'Meara (sorry Mark, that's really unfortunate company for you). Woods would have destroyed Kim just to show how foolish his buddy O'Meara was to open his mouth.

This makes for a much better tournament. One that must have PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem wondering why he can't get this type of field for the FedEx Cup.

For complete on-site tournament coverage from Tucson next week, stay tuned to and this blog.

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