DANIEL Brooks is relishing the opportunity to compete in the BMW SA Open.

The PGA European Tour returns this week, following a festive break, and the world’s leading professional golfers will be heading to the South African city of Ekurhuleni for the first event of 2018.

And Brooks, who hails from Basildon, has made some good memories on the course.

Brooks said: “I came third there a couple of years ago.

“I feel like I know the course quite well and it is somewhere I have enjoyed playing in the past.

“I’ve competed in the event in each of the last few years and I have some good memories from playing there, so I’m looking forward to going back.”

Brooks excelled at the BMW SA Open two years ago, as he required just 277 shots to complete all four rounds of the course.

As a result, Brooks was able to finish on 11 under par and claim third place.

Although he did not enjoy as much success in Ekurhuleni 12 months ago, Brooks still managed to come away following a creditable performance.

The 31-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, tied for 52nd position despite taking just seven more strokes than in 2016.

Brooks ended last campaign on a high, as he placed third at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

His performance earned praise from event host Sergio Garcia, who is the current holder of the world-renowned Masters green jacket.

The current season got off to a disappointing start, as Brooks was in joint-105th place on the leaderboard at the UBS Hong Kong Open.

But in the final European Tour outing before the Christmas break, Brooks tied for 30th place at the Joburg Open.

And Brooks says South Africa is a place he enjoys to play golf.

Brooks added: “I enjoy playing in South Africa.

“I was there just before Christmas, competing at the Joburg Open, and it’s somewhere that I have played quite a lot during my career.

“It’s a place with good courses and the weather is nice so I always look forward to going there.”

The festive break may have come at the right time for Brooks, as the professional golfer has been suffering with illness since returning from Johannesburg.

Brooks has also been struggling with a wrist problem, which has affected his practice time.

“I am really looking forward to getting back on the course,” confirmed Brooks.

“The weather has been pretty poor here, which has made it difficult to get practice time in.

“I’ve had MRI scans as well because I’ve got a dodgy wrist, so I haven’t been able to do much preparation.”