McIlroy to play South African Open, keeps promise to Els
JOHANNESBURG (AP) Rory McIlroy is set to play in the South African Open in January, with organizers saying he'll keep a promise he made to tournament host Ernie Els.
Els says McIlroy ''owed me one'' after the South African appeared at the Irish Open in 2014.
The No. 3-ranked McIlroy will return after playing the South African Open as a newly-turned professional in 2008.
The four-time major winner is part of the Europe team for the Ryder Cup, which starts Friday. He won the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup last weekend with victory at the Tour Championship.
The South African Open is one of golf's oldest national opens and goes back more than 100 years. The 2017 tournament, part of the European Tour, is Jan. 12-15 at Johannesburg's Glendower Golf Club.