SEOUL, South Korea -- Ernie Els certainly doesn't have to
worry about his private plane collecting dust.
The South African star, No. 3 in the world rankings behind Vijay
Singh and Tiger Woods, has nearly circled the world in the last few
weeks, with his latest journey taking him from the Swiss Alps to
"Personally, I like to play all over the world," Els said
Wednesday. "I've known about this tournament in Korea all year and
I'm really looking forward to it."
Coming off a seventh-place finish Sunday in the European Masters
in Switzerland, Els is set to begin play Thursday in the Asian
Tour's Korean Open -- his first event in South Korea in eight years.
"Golf is truly a global game now and there are a lot of very
promising players emerging from countries you wouldn't have
expected 10 years ago," Els said. "It's good for the game as a
He will play alongside South Korean stars Kang Wook-soon and
Kevin Na in the first two rounds on the Woo Jung Hills Country Club
course in Cheonan.
The 20-year-old Na is the youngest player on the PGA Tour.
"I think it's a great story, him being only 20 years of age and
playing on the PGA Tour," Els said. "He's a star of the future."
John Daly, the 2003 winner, withdrew earlier this week.
K.J. Choi, the only South Korean player to win on the PGA Tour,
is skipping the tournament to defend his title in the European
tour's German Masters.