Els vs Donald @ ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY February 20 2012

Ernie Els, ranked 65th in the world a week ago, is in the field for this week’s World Golf Championships, Accenture Match Play Championship, this is because Phil Mickelson isn’t playing.  Phil is spending the week on a family vacation, that meant Els nabbed the final spot in the tournament. Ernie joked on Monday; “I’ve got some good red wines I can give him, and I definitely will buy him a dinner whenever he wants it.” Mind you Ernie's record in this competition has not been too good recently. Each of the last two years, he’s gone out in the second round, and three of the four years prior to that, he was eliminated in the first round. This years first round opponent, in Wednesday’s opening round,  is none other than world number one Luke Donald, last years the defending champion. When questioned why he seems to struggle in this tournament Ernie replied; “The format is different, over an 18-hole match, it feels quite fast. I’m kind of sometimes a slow starter and getting into the match. I felt on a 36-hole match like we had at Wentworth, I could feel I could get wired in. I felt my game could stand up for a long period of time, and maybe grind the guy down a little bit. I think that’s why I had such a good record there.” Talking about his match up with Luke Donald for the first round Ernie said; ”Obviously he’s in great form, he had an unbelievable year last year and becoming world No. 1. He’s got a lot going for him. It’s not like I’m the worst match player in the world. I think I know what I need to do. You've  got to keep the ball in play. You’ve got to keep it in play on every single hole, because he’s going to be in every hole.” Good Luck Ernie, I think you are going to need it. Live Report ImageMiralle/Getty Images