Andy Sullivan raced from four down with five holes to play to force a playoff, then made an amazing approach shot to birdie the first extra hole, defeating Charl Schwartzel by a single stroke to win the South African Open Championship on Sunday.
Down five strokes to start the round, Sullivan closed with a 67. After shooting sub-70 for the first three rounds, Schwartzel struggled to a 74, the worst closing round of any player in the Top 10.
Sullivan was just 1-under at the turn, but started putting the pressure on when he birdied No. 10 and eagled No. 12. No. 12 was Sullivan’s haven during the tournament – he was 5-under on it during the four rounds.
Schwartzel was at even part through 9 holes, but seemed to have Sullivan at arm’s length when he birdied 12 and 13 back to back, diminishing the eagle and returning his lead to five strokes with five holes to go.
However Schwartzel bogeyed 14, then doubled 16 as Sullivan birdied it, a three-stroke swing that dropped the lead to one.
It was Schwartzel’s only double bogey of the entire tournament.
He bogeyed No. 17 as well as Sullivan parred his last two holes to force the playoff.
England’s Lee Slattery nearly made it at three-man playoff, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish at 10-under. He birdied 13 and 15, but could not find another stroke down the stretch.