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Saturday 10 December 2016

McIlroy plotting a Shanghai surprise

Rory McIlroy. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy is hoping to secure his maiden WGC-HSBC Champions title on his sixth visit to the Sheshan International Golf Club this week as he builds towards the climax of his season in Dubai.

Northern Ireland's world number three will face strong competition in the $9.5 million event, East Asia's richest, which teed off today, with all four reigning major champions and eight of the world's top 10 in the field.

McIlroy has not finished outside the top 11 in his previous five visits to the course with three top-five finishes, so has some justification for feeling that a win is overdue.

"It's my sixth time in Shanghai and I've played well here but not quite well enough to win. Hopefully I can change that this week," he said. "I feel like I'm playing well enough and that I've showed enough good form around this golf course in the past to be confident that I can give myself a chance this week."

McIlroy has taken a rest from strokeplay golf since securing the FedEx Cup at the PGA Tour Championship in September and will be hoping success at Sheshan can act as a springboard to another triumph at the European Tour season-ender in Dubai.

Wins at the European Tour Championship have helped him claim two of the three Race to Dubai titles he has won in the last four years. He currently trails Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson in the standings.

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