Sullivan claims maiden tour win as Schwartzel folds

Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:42am EST
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Briton Andy Sullivan profited from a flurry of late dropped shots by home favourite Charl Schwartzel to win the South African Open at the first playoff hole and record his first European Tour victory on Sunday.

Schwartzel dropped four shots in his last five holes to enter a playoff with Englishman Sullivan, having seemingly been cruising to what would have been his maiden home championship win.

Having carded a final round 67 for a tournament total of 277, Sullivan then produced a superb iron into the green from the rough to set up the birdie chance on the first extra hole and defeat a deflated Schwartzel.

The South African had led by five shots going into the final round, but could only manage a 74 on Sunday as his game fell apart on the final five holes.

"It’s unbelievable. After yesterday, I didn’t think I stood much of a chance with Charl getting that far ahead, but I just dug in there and got myself into a position to win," Sullivan said at the trophy presentation.

He carded two birdies and an eagle on his back nine in Sunday's round and managed to take that momentum into the playoff.

He looked to be in trouble after a wayward drive, but left himself a 10 foot putt for the win after a fine iron through a cluster of trees.

"I was delighted just to hit the green and have a chance to win it. I didn't want to give him a second chance to take the title away from me," Sullivan said.

He added he hopes the beers will be flowing at his home Nuneaton Golf Club tonight.   Continued...