Els and Clarke to bounce back

By Brian Keogh

Darren Clarke and Ernie Els are hoping to bounce back from their Dubai disappointments in the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters.

The pair headline a star-studded field for the first European Tour event held on the sub-continent.

After missing the cut in last week's Dubai Desert Classic, Clarke is gunning to recapture his recent good form in Delhi.

But it's even more important for Els to show signs of recovery after his shattering 18th hole splashdown in Dubai handed Tiger Woods his fifth straight tournament win.

Clarke said: "The desert winds at the Dubai Classic seemed to blow away my recent good form.

"It was disappointing to miss the cut. Hopefully it was just a temporary blip and I'm already looking ahead to the Indian Masters in Delhi.

"Missing the cut meant I had the chance to get in plenty of practice over the weekend. I spent a lot of time working on every aspect of my game and the hard work I've put in has given me confidence going over to Delhi.

"It's my first time in India and we're playing on an old-style and very tight Lodhi course. It should be fun and if I can finish ahead of local hero Jeev Milkha Singh then I should be in contention on Sunday."

Els was on the receiving end of severe criticism for his performance under pressure in Dubai where he took six at the last when he needed a birdie to force a play-off.

But the South African blamed poor putting rather than his final hole collapse for his latest disappointment.

Looking ahead to Delhi, Els said: " I have to put behind me what happened last week in Dubai. It's history - there's nothing I can do about it now.

"What I can focus on are the positives and the fact that I was swinging the club well all week in Dubai, hitting my driver great, and that overall I felt comfortable with my game.

"It was just one of those frustrating week on the greens - I mean, a total of 121 putts in four rounds simply is not good enough at this level. Trust me, I'll be doing everything I can to turn that around this week in Delhi."

Graeme McDowell and Damien McGrane complete the Irish challenge at Delhi Golf Club with McDowell determined to build on his fifth place finish in the Desert Classic.

After jumping to 88th in the world, a win for the Ulsterman would be enough to get him into the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona later this month.