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Els: We want the best at SA Open

Ernie Els says a showdown between Rory McIlroy and Brandon Stone would be the perfect way to end the SA Open.

FILE: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Ernie Els says a showdown between Rory McIlroy and Brandon Stone would be the perfect way to end the SA Open.

The two golfers have been paired together for the first two rounds of the competition which gets underway on Thursday morning.

Els says the fans would love to see the two of them go head to head: "Brandon has played wonderful golf recently, winning the last event played. Being the defending champion here so he has a lot of confidence going. A battle against Rory on Sunday would be a wonderful matchup."

Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen are not participating in the event, which is something that Ernie Els says is a letdown.

"As a South African supporting the South African Open you are obviously disappointed that your top players aren't playing in the event. We'll speak to them to see if it was a scheduling problem? We'll speak to them try do whatever we can to accommodate these guys."

Looking at his own season, Els says he hasn't confirmed his calendar just yet.

"I'm still exempt for most of the big events this year so I'll commit myself to those. Hopefully I have a bit of game and we'll see where it goes."

(Edited by Zunaid Ismael)