Sullivan’s sights on Masters

McIlroy can’t understand ‘why Koepka doesn’t do it more often’

The Englishman has already won twice in South Africa since the turn of the year, and is fully aware a top-two finish at the Golf du Palais Royal will secure him a maiden trip to Augusta National in a fortnight.

Sullivan began the year 150th in the world rankings, but following his wins at the South African Open and the Joburg Open he had vaulted to 61st and within sight of a first appearance at any major since he turned professional four years ago.

The 28-year-old won the race for second behind runaway champion Alejandro Canizares in Agadir last year after a stunning, inward 29 capped a closing 63, and Sullivan is hoping to draw on those positive memories.

???It is always nice to come back to a place where you have played well in the past. There are a lot of incentives for me as well,??? Sullivan said. ???Last year I came home in 29 for a 63 to finish second so I have some nice memories.

???That performance was a big stepping stone for me. To have those feelings and then move on from there and get the two victories is a nice feeling. Hopefully I can reiterate what I did here last year or even go one better.???

Sullivan also admitted the prospect of earning a trip to Augusta National was another huge incentive this week, although he will not be beating himself up if he misses out.

???It is a massive carrot dangling in front of me but I just have to put it to one side and concentrate on playing my game,” he added.

???If I don???t get in it won???t be the end of the world, and I will have had a great start to the year regardless. I???ve never played a major before so it is something I???ve always wanted to do and it will be in the back of my mind.???

Frenchman Alexander Levy also needs a top-two finish to qualify for the Masters, but recent Tshwane Open champion George Coetzee needs an outright victory this week to make his second appearance at Augusta.

???I???m excited and I???m playing some good golf, so mentally I feel in a good place,??? said Coetzee. ???I???m jaded but when you are playing well you just take the Monday Tuesday off and start again on the Wednesday, so hopefully I can have another good week and keep going. I???m still working on some things and hopefully they will come good this week.

???I need a win to sneak into the Masters, hopefully we will give it a good go. Last year it was all or nothing and my patience wasn???t as good as it should have been, so hopefully this year I???ll try to play well and if I???m in the mix I will focus on winning: it???s not an all-out assault though. I???ll try to pace myself a little better and shoot some good rounds and get in the mix.???

Levy breached the all-important world top-50 during the Desert Swing, but he has now slipped to 54th and he insists qualifying for the Masters is not his top priority this week.

He said: ???The Masters isn???t really on my mind – it is over for me. I???m just practising for the coming weeks, when I defend my title in China. I???m working on my game because it is close to being good.???