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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 12:26 p.m., Thursday, February 14, 2008

Golf: Els changes his mind, will play in Arizona

Asssociated Press

LOS ANGELES Ernie Els changed his mind and entered the Accenture Match Play Championship next week in Arizona, a tournament where he has never made it past the second round in America.

Els, a three-time major champion and No. 4 in the world ranking, had said on his Web site and in interviews that he would skip the first World Golf Championship of the season and not make his U.S. debut until the following week in the Honda Classic.

But his agents began asking about room reservations earlier this week, and tournament director Michael Garten said today that the South African has officially entered.

That leaves Brett Wetterich with a shoulder injury as the only player to have withdrawn. The 64-man brackets will not be set until Monday afternoon, although Els likely would play Jonathan Byrd in the first round.

His decision means Anthony Kim, who was poised to be the 64th seed, will miss the tournament unless someone backs out. Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed, would face FBR Open champion J.B. Holmes in the first round.

The Accenture Match Play Championship begins Wednesday at The Gallery just north of Tucson.