Golf Monthly columnist Andy Sullivan wins his first tour event after a stunning last day fightback took him into a play-off with Charl Schwartzel

Joe Kruger

Joe Kruger, who tied for second in last year’s South African Open, made 17 greens in regulation in the opening round to finish the day as joint leader on 66 with….

Andy Sullivan SA Open 2015

…Golf Monthly columnist Andy Sullivan who played the eight holes from 8 to 15 in 7 under. Sullivan was the outright leader after the second day of the South African Open…

SA3

… a shot ahead of Charl Schwartzel who only found four fairways during his second round but also only took only 25 putts on a day that Ulrich van  den Berg made a hole in one on the 199-yard 6th and…

Ernie Els South African Open 2015

…Ernie Els made back-to-back triple bogeys in a round of 77, which was 10 shots worse than his opening round.

Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel opened his third round with four birdies and made eight in all to card 66. Schwartzel holed from 50ft across the first green, from six feet on the 2nd and 20ft on the 3rd before his approach to the 4th almost pitched straight into the hole and finished inches away. Schwartzel was playing with Sullivan, and while the South African was opening with those four birdies, Sullivan made four consecutive birdies. Sullivan shot 74 and ended the day seven strokes off the lead.

South African Open Charl Schwartzel

Schwartzel was five shots clear of the field going into the final day. Last year he had lead the South African Open after 54 holes, but shot 71 on the final day and finished 4th. This time he shot 74, and finished in a sudden death play-off with Andy Sullivan, to be played over the 18th hole. Both tee shots in the play-off missed the green…

South African Open Championship Andy Sullivan

…but Sullivan was able to play his second shot from the trees to 12ft and when he holed the putt – only the fifth birdie made on the 18th all day – he became…

South African Open Champion Andy Sullivan

… only the second Englishman to win the South African Open following Tommy Horton in 1970. It was also Sullivan’s first tour victory in his 84th tour event.

Picture credits: Getty Images