Andy Sullivan seals maiden tour title

2015 01 Sullivan
• English ace records first win on European Tour
• Defeats former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in play-off
• South African Open champ says: "It's unbelievable"


England’s Andy Sullivan secured the first European Tour title of his career after beating home hopeful Charl Schwartzel in a play-off for the South African Open then roared: ‘That was unbelievable.’

The 27-year-old carded a five-under 77 in the final round to match former Masters champion Schwartzel – who had led by five going into the final round – on 11-under-par.

That meant extra holes were required to decide the winner, with Sullivan making a birdie at the first of those to seal the deal.

"After Saturday, I didn't think I stood much of a chance with Charl getting ahead that far,” said Sullivan afterwards.

"I just dug in there yesterday and today and found myself in a position where I had a chance to win. My caddie said over the last few holes 'no regrets' and I've definitely got no regrets over the last few holes, especially that play-off hole.

"Charl has won major championships; my caddie said ‘expect him to hole’ (his third shot) and he nearly did. I was delighted just to hit the green and have a chance to win and I'm just glad I took it.
"It has just been an incredible week." - Andy Sullivan

"I didn't want to give him a second chance to take the title away from me so I am absolutely delighted and I hope the guys at Nuneaton Golf Club are having a few beers for me!”

Sullivan turned professional in 2011 and, in his final year as an amateur, he won the Scottish Strokeplay and was part of the Great Britain & Ireland side that defeated the USA in the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen.

He added: "To just play on the European Tour is something I've wanted to do my whole life, so to win an event just caps it all off and to do it in South Africa where I have always enjoyed playing, it has just been an incredible week."

Sullivan’s fellow Englishman Lee Slattery was third, a further shot adrift of the leaders, whilst Scotland’s David Drysdale will rue a disappointing final round of 74 which saw him finish in a tie for 11th on six-under.

Andy Sullivan :: Golf’s first ‘spaceman’

During last year’s KLM Open, Andy Sullivan won a trip to space after having a hole-in-one.


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