Spaceman Sullivan steals superb SA Open from Schwartzel
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/12/15

Andy Sullivan is a European Tour player from Warwickshire in England. You will hear more about him in 2015 than at any time in the past — as 2011 Masters Tournament champion Charl Schwartzel found out the hard way on Sunday.

Schwartzel held a five-shot lead after 54 holes of the South African Open Championship on Saturday evening. But even when Schwartzel started leaking the proverbial oil, he still led the tournament by four shots with five holes to play.

Then, the wheels completely fell off and Schwartzel found himself tied with Sullivan at the end of regulation play. And even though Sullivan missed the fairway at the first playoff hole, he did not miss with his second shot:

Birdie. Winner winner, chicken dinner:

"It's unbelievable. After Saturday I didn't think I stood much of a chance with Charl getting ahead that far.

"I just dug in there yesterday and today and found myself in a position where I had a chance to win. My caddie said over the last few holes 'no regrets' and I've definitely got no regrets over the last few holes, especially that play-off hole.

"Charl has won major xhampionships; my caddie said ‘expect him to hole’ (his third shot) and he nearly did. I was delighted just to hit the green and have a chance to win and I'm just glad I took it.

"I didn't want to give him a second chance to take the title away from me so I am absolutely delighted and I hope the guys at Nuneaton Golf Club are having a few beers for me!

"To just play on The European Tour is something I've wanted to do my whole life, so to win an event just caps it all off and to do it in South Africa where I have always enjoyed playing, it has just been an incredible week."
And why, you ask, do we refer to him as "Spaceman Sullivan"? The answer is simple. This past September, he made his first big splash on the European Tour by sinking an ace at the Dutch Open that also won him a trip to low-Earth orbit aboard a reusable space vehicle being developed by California-based XCOR Space Expeditions. Their vehicle will rocket to roughly 61 km (338,000 feet) above Earth, in the mesosphere, then coast back to the Mojave Spaceport in California.

If Sullivan's wife lets him, that is.

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
2nd place received 2 seats into low-Earth orbit aboard a reusable space vehicle being developed by California-based XCOR Space Expeditions.

Just give me a car, please.
Torleif Sorenson says:
If I ever had the chance to win what I wanted in a hole-in-one contest, I would not hesitate to choose a Cessna A152 Aerobat:
[ post comment ]
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