With GM columnist Andy Sullivan recording his maiden win in South Africa and Jeremy Ellwood on hand in Abu Dhabi, it was the perfect chance for a quick chat…

I guess you thought your chance had gone after Saturday’s round?

Yeah, especially behind Charl in South Africa. You know how good he can be around courses like that, especially when he gets a big lead – he tends to just blow the field away.

How close were you to winding down and switching off after your round, with Charl four ahead with just a few to play?

It was weird because I was just sort of reflecting on the week, then I was heading down in case there was a play-off, and five minutes later I was in a play-off. Everything seemed to be happening really quickly. Charl was probably a little bit frustrated to be in a play-off, and I was ecstatic!

A delighted Andy Sullivan chatting to GM's Jezz Ellwood on the range in Abu Dhabi

A delighted Andy Sullivan chatting to GM’s Jezz Ellwood on the range in Abu Dhabi

Who went first in extra time?

Charl went first and hit it right, then I went and hit it left, but I’d hit there for three days so I knew what I had in store! Even so, to hit the shot I then hit was just unbelievable.

How much did you have to manoeuvre the ball?

It cut a lot – a good 25-30 yards. The wind was against which probably helped because once it started cutting, it cut a bit more and obviously stopped quickly too. Then when it pitched in that Kikuyu grass in the fringe I thought, “Thank God for that,” because if it had pitched on the green it could still have gone through.

Did you take a good look at the famous trophy?

Yes, there were some big names on there – Gary Player, of course, many times, Bobby Locke, Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els five times. And now Andy Sullivan! It’s just a pleasure to be on there too.

South African Open Champion Andy Sullivan

Andy became just the second Englishman after Tommy Horton to get his hands on the famous trophy

And just the second Englishman to win the title?

Yeah, I was quite surprised about that, but it’s an honour to win an event of that magnitude – the second oldest event on tour.

During Andy’s time in the GM playing editor’s chair he has become a rising star on tour, and we’ve regularly enlisted his help with instruction features and videos such as the flop shot and punch shot masterclasses he treated us to. As he hands the columnist’s baton on to someone else, we wish him all the best for his future career.

  • How far was the shot Andy hit in the playoff and what club did he cut it in with?