Johannesburg (AFP) – Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will compete in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at South African resort Sun City from November 8-11, the organisers said Friday.
This is the latest boost for the penultimate Rolex Series event on the European tour Race to Dubai after 2017 US Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain earlier agreed to take part.
The Rolex Series is confined to the premium tournaments on the European circuit and the Nedbank Challenge will offer a $7.5 million (about 6.5 mn euros) prize fund.
McIlroy proved a huge crowd-puller near Johannesburg last year when he featured in the South African Open and finished runner-up to Graeme Storm of England.
“I am looking forward to going back to Sun City,” said McIlroy, whose last appearance on a course designed by South African golf legend Gary Player was 10 years ago.
“I have not been there in a long time, so I am excited about playing it,” he added in a statement released by the organisers.
“I have always had a great time in South Africa whether it be playing golf tournaments, going on safari, or visiting some of the cities.
“I have been fortunate to win the Race to Dubai on three occasions and this year I want to give myself every chance of winning it for the fourth time.
“So the Nedbank Golf Challenge is a huge week on my schedule and the penultimate event before we battle it out for the Race to Dubai title.”
Former world number one McIlroy won his first Major, the US Open, in 2011, and his other successes came in the US PGA Championship (2012, 2014) and the British Open (2014).
The Irishman fired a first-round 64 Thursday in the US PGA Travelers Championship to trail American co-leaders Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth by one stroke.