Golf Monthly columnist Andy Sullivan claimed his first European Tour title after a playoff with Charl Schwartzel for the South African Open Championship at Glendower GC.

Golf Monthly columnist Andy Sullivan claimed his first European Tour title after a playoff with Charl Schwartzel for the South African Open Championship at Glendower GC.

Sullivan began the final round seven shots behind Schwartzel, but he carded four birdies and an eagle in an excellent final round of 67.

Schwartzel was still four shots ahead with five to play and the 2011 Masters Champion looked a certain winner of his home title. But he followed a bogey on the 14th with a three putt double bogey on the 16th. A further bogey at the 17th dropped the South African into a tie with Sullivan on 11-under-par.

Schwartzel managed to steady himself to par the last and force a playoff, but it was Sullivan who went into extra holes with the greater momentum.

Both men found trouble from the tee on the first playoff hole, but Sullivan produced a superb recovery shot that set up a winning birdie.

“I just dug in there yesterday and today and found myself in a position where I had a chance to win,” he said. “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… I didn’t want to give Charl 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!”

England’s Lee Slattery fired a closing 69 to end the week alone in third place. Another Englishman, Matthew Fitzpatrick had a chance to win at Glendower GC. The 20-year-old started brightly with two birdies in his first four holes, but he then stumbled to a double-bogey at the 7th and a disastrous triple-bogey at the 13th. He finished in a tie for fifth place.

The South African Open Championship Hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni
Glendower GC, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jan 8-11, purse €1,100,000, par 72

1    Andy Sullivan (Eng)    66    70    74    67    277    €158,500
2    Charl Schwartzel (RSA)    68    69    66    74    277    €115,000
3    Lee Slattery (Eng)    70    74    65    69    278    €69,200
4    Pablo Martin (Esp)    71    68    71    69    279    €49,100
T5    Thomas Aiken (RSA)    70    71    70    70    281    €28,667
T5    Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73    68    67    73    281    €28,667
T5    Jared Harvey (RSA)    71    69    70    71    281    €28,667
T5    Paul Maddy (Eng)        71    71    68    71    281    €28,667
T5    Gary Stal (Fra)        75    66    69    71    281    €28,667
T5    Alessandro Tadini (Ita)    71    68    73    69    281    €28,667

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage