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Woods, Els to Stage Junior Event

May 23, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) _ Tiger Woods and Ernie Els are taking their friendly rivalry to junior golfers.

Woods and Els have created the Friendship Cup, in which junior golfers from their foundations will meet every year in either the United States or South Africa to play a three-day match and learn about the others’ background and cultures.

The Tiger Woods Foundation said Monday the inaugural match will be held July 2-8 at Edgewood Valley Country Club in La Grange, Ill., the same week as the Western Open.

Four boys and four girls, ages 15 to 18, will qualify based on requirements determined by the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation. The format will be mixed teams in better ball, boys and girls’ teams in alternate shot and singles matches in the final round. Among those selected for Woods’ team is his niece, Cheyenne Woods.

A site was not been announced for the 2007 Friendship Cup in South Africa.

Woods and Els are longtime friends who have staged some memorable duels, none bigger than the 2003 Presidents Cup in South Africa. When the matches ended in a tie, Woods and Els were selected by their captains for a sudden-death playoff at Fancourt. On the third extra hole in near darkness, Woods made a 15-foot par putt, and Els matched it with a 6-footer for par.

The Presidents Cup then was declared a tie.

They also played the final 36 holes together in the season-opening Mercedes Championships in 2000, both making eagle on the final hole to force a playoff, both making birdie on the first extra hole. Woods won on the second playoff hole with a 40-foot birdie putt.

The Tiger Woods Foundations was created by Woods and his late father, Earl, in 1996, to help kids with community-based programs aimed at health, education and welfare. The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation was created in 1999 to identify and help aspiring golfers with limited resources.

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