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Big Easy, Big Names at Booz Allen Golf

Some of the biggest names in golf have come to the U.S. capital area to take part in the PGA's Booz Allen Classic tournament.

The event tees off Thursday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington.

Players like the course, and with the tournament taking place one week before the U.S. Open, such names as world number-one Vijay Singh of Fiji and Ernie Els of South Africa are in the field.

For Els in particular, this week will be an important occasion. Nicknamed the "Big Easy," the world's third-ranked player won the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional. Els has said that win was even more emotional than his other two major championship triumphs - the 1994 U.S. Open and the 2002 British Open.

Last year's Masters champion Phil Mickelson of the United States also will compete, as well as two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa, American Davis Love and last year's Booz Allen champion, Adam Scott of Australia. World number-two Tiger Woods of the United States is not entered.

Some information for this report provided by AFP