Sunshine Tour

McIlroy upbeat over SA Open chances

Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Cape Town - World No 2 Rory McIlroy believes he has a good chance to win his first SA Open title, when the tournament gets underway at Glendower Golf Club on Thursday.

However, the Northern Irishman has to overcome some stern competition, as he'll be taking on defending SA Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship winner, Brandon Stone, and 2015 SA Open winner, Andy Sullivan.

"I know that if I play the way I can then I will have a good chance to win but I need to make sure I concentrate on getting myself into that position on Sunday afternoon," said McIlory, as quoted by the European Tour website.

READ: Els: McIlroy the man to beat at SA Open

McIlroy spent a few weeks in South Africa soon after he turned professional back in 2008, during which time he played in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek and finished in a share of third spot with Ernie Els at the SA Open which was played at Pearl Valley near Cape Town that year.

"I was one shot out of the playoff in 2008 (as part of the 2009 season) - that result actually got me into the top 50 in the world for the first time which was great, but it would be nice to go a couple better this week.

"This is the first time I have been here in a while and it seems like there’s a lot of excitement around the tournament," said McIlory.

"I am in competitive mode... I am here to play well and get my confidence up."

This year's tournament will be without the country's three leading golfers - Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen - who've all decided to skip the event.

However the field does include five major champions - McIlory, Els, Nick Faldo, Retief Goosen and Darren Clarke.

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