Rory McIlroy tees up at the South African Open this weekend hoping to secure his place in the world’s top 50, in order to cement a US Masters spot at Augusta next April.   

South African Open betting guide

The Ulsterman is right on the line at number 50, but only as a result of Mathew Goggin’s play-off defeat in the Australian Open last week.   

McIlroy, 19, will be looking for a better weekend at the Pearl Valley Golf Estate after missing the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Championship recently.   

December 22nd is the all-important date when the world’s top 50 are assured of their place at Augusta, and McIlroy will be hoping that he’ll be in line for a debut-shot at the coveted Green Jacket.

This year McIlroy has endured play-off defeats at the Omega European Masters and this season’s Hong Kong Open – narrow losses that leave the youngster still searching for a first Tour victory.      

English duo Ross Fisher and Oliver Wilson, who sit at 29th and 39th in the rankings respectively, are already assured of their first starts in Georgia.

Where next?

Preview: South African Open Championship
Padraig Harrington named PGA Tour Player of the Year
Gallery: Pictures of the week: 8-14 December

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