March 1, 2015 / 3:08 PM / 4 years ago

Sullivan rises from the pack to grab Joburg Open win

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A blistering front nine laid the platform for Briton Andy Sullivan to claim a second European Tour win at the Joburg Open on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan of England tees off on the 13th hole during the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Sullivan, who has now qualified for the Open Championship at St Andrews in July, sunk five birdies on his outward nine.

Two more birdies coming home, coupled with a bogey, gave him a final round score of 66 and a total of 270 to win at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Club.

That was two shots better than compatriots Anthony Wall and David Howell, who both also qualify for The Open, Irishman Kevin Phelan and home players Jaco van Zyl and Wallie Coetsee, who all finished on 272.

The 28-year-old Sullivan turned professional in 2010 but has had to wait until this year to win on the European Tour having also claimed the South African Open Championship in January when he defeated Charl Schwartzel in a playoff.

There was no need for extra holes on Sunday though as Sullivan, who started the day three shots behind overnight leader Coetsee, was quick out the blocks and finished his round with a massive putt for birdie on the 18th.

“It’s unbelievable, I never imagined it would happen again so quickly,” Sullivan said at the presentation ceremony.

“Coming down the stretch me and my caddie were loving life again and enjoying it. It seems to be a theme, enjoying my golf and getting the right results at the moment.”

Sullivan, who won a trip into space for a hole-in-one during the KLM Open last year, admitted he has never played better.

“I think I am already there (in space) to be honest with you,” he said.

“I’m on the crest of a wave at the moment and I don’t want it to end. I just want it to keep going.”

Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Toby Davis

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