Rory McIlroy will be carrying the heavy favourite tag into the WGC-HSBC Champions ©Getty Images

The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions returns to Shanghai tomorrow, with Rory McIlory looking to break his duck at Sheshan Golf Club.

He will never have a better chance, with a number of high-profile absentees.

World number one Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are all absent, with just 12 of the top 25-ranked players taking part.   

But McIlroy knows it won’t be an easy, in an event he has still to win.

The Irishman was crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year after winning the FedExCup for the second time and finished tied for third at the Zozo Championship last week.  

He's enjoyed 17 worldwide top-10 finishes in 23 starts this campaign, although he hasn't won a major in five years.

Justin Rose has a good record in the tournament ©Getty Images
Justin Rose has a good record in the tournament ©Getty Images

England's Paul Casey could well be in the hunt, having enjoyed five top 10s at Sheshan.

He also took out the BMW International Open last month and will fancy his chances.

America's Phil Mickelson will look to roll back the years, having won the event twice previously, in 2007 and 2009.

The five-time major winner loves the course and will be a huge crowd favourite.

The defending champion, American Xander Schauffele, will hope to go back-to-back, while Englishman Justin Rose cannot be ruled out.

Rose has the game to challenge in Shanghai, and has fond memories of the tournament, having won the title back in 2017.

The weather forecast is for lots of sunshine and light winds, so look out for plenty of low scoring.