Sullivan takes the 2015 Joburg Open
Englishman Andy Sullivan is the 2015 Joburg Open champion following his spirited charge on the second and last day of the tournament.
Sullivan shot a cool 66 for a total 17 under par, two shots clear of his nearest rivals - South African pair of Wallie Coetzee and Jaco van Zyl, Ireland's Kevin Phelan and fellow Englishmen David Howell and Anthony Wall.
For Sullivan, South Africa has proved to be a happy hunting ground. Earlier this year he overcame Charl Schwartzel in a playoff to win the South African Open at the Glendower Country Club.
"There is something about this country that I like. My game always seems to improve when I play here," says Sullivan.
The "Smiling Assassin", as he is commonly referred to among his army of fans, started the day three shots behind overnight leader Coetzee, who found it heavy going on the soaked kikuyu fairways. To compound matters, his putter was somehow cold on the greens, where he missed putts that on any other day he would have holed.
At the same time, Sullivan appeared to be coasting home. But the story would have been different had Howell taken his chance after reaching the par five 18th hole in two, which meant he was putting for an eagle from about 25 meters out. He went for the cup, but the ball just graced the left lip, making the return uphill birdie putt even more difficult. He missed it and forfeited a chance for a sole second.
Sullivan said he found the East course easier to play on, a sentiment that contradicts the general view that it is trickier than the West.
"While I was playing on the West course, I could only shoot level par. On the East, however, I consistently scored well," he said.
Defending champion George Coetzee made a game of it but fell short of contending for the honours as he finished 10 under par after shooting 73, to finish tied for 24.