Monday, 18 February 2002
Major Champions Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam head the cast for the Caltex Singapore Masters this week hoping to rekindle some of the magic which helped them to victory on their last visits to the Lion City.

Faldo has not played in Singapore since he captured the Johnnie Walker Classic over Singapore Island Country Club's Bukit Course in 1993, when he held off the challenge from Colin Montgomerie by a single stroke.

Three years later the tournament returned to Singapore when Woosnam claimed the title at Tenah Merah, defeating Andrew Coltart at the third hole of a sudden-death play-off, and, like Faldo, Woosnam has not been back since.

Both are relishing the return to Singapore for the second Caltex Singapore Masters, which this year moves to Laguna National Golf and Country Club.

Twelve months ago it was another Major Champion who triumphed when Fiji's Vijay Singh collected his second successive title on The European Tour International Schedule when he followed his victory in the Carlsberg Malaysian Open with victory at Singapore Island Country Club.

Faldo, winner of three Open Championship titles and three Masters Tournaments, has finished in the top ten in the two tournaments he has played this year.

Those tournaments were the Johnnie Walker Classic and the Heineken Classic - and Faldo has hinted that he could be close to his first individual title since he won the Nissan Open in 1997.

He said: "I am thrilled to be heading back to Singapore again. I have not played in Singapore since I won there in 1993 so I am looking forward to returning to one of my favourite stop-offs."

Woosnam, who won the Masters Tournament in 1991, has been a regular visitor to Asia for many years, winning the Hong Kong Open in 1987 and the Hyundai Motor Masters in 1997 in addition to his victory in Singapore.

Last season he enjoyed a return to the winners' enclosure when he became the oldest player to capture the Cisco World Match Play Championship, and the first player to win the title in three decades, when he beat Padraig Harrington in an epic final. The Welshman also finished joint third in the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes on his way to finishing 18th in the Volvo Order of Merit.

Also in the field is Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin, winner of the BMW Asian Open in Taiwan, the first of five tournaments on The 2002 European Tour International Schedule to be co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Davidoff Tour. Sandelin, currently lying third in the Volvo Order of Merit behind the South African pair of Retief Goosen and Ernie Els, will be seeking to regain pole position with a second victory of the season in Asia.

Last year's runner-up, Warren Bennett of England, is also in the field hoping to go one better at Laguna National G&CC.

The Caltex Singapore Masters is joint-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Davidoff Tour, with 65 players from each Tour. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, winner of the London Myanmar Open earlier this month and last year's Davidoff Tour Order of Merit champion, leads the Asian challenge.

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