Andy Sullivan led the way in qualifying for The Open after his victory in the Joburg Open in South Africa today and will be joined at St Andrews in July by his fellow Englishmen David Howell and Anthony Wall.
A final round six-under-par 66 over Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club’s East Course took Sullivan to 17-under-par for the championship and gave him a two shot victory over five players: Howell, Wall, Ireland’s Kevin Phelan and South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl and Wallie Coetsee. The English pair secured places in The Open thanks to their higher positions in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Sullivan made it a South African double after securing his first European Tour win at the South African Open Championship in January. The 28-year-old, who played in the winning Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, will make his debut in The Open at St Andrews.
Howell closed with a three-under-par 69. The former Boys Amateur champion has won five times on the European Tour including the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews in 2013. The 39-year-old has played in twelve previous Opens but will play in golf’s oldest championship at the Home of Golf for the first time this year. His best finish in The Open was tied seventh at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
Wall eagled the par five first hole on his way to a four-under-par 68 in the final round. The 39-year-old has one victory on the European Tour to his name, in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa in 2000, and will make his sixth appearance in The Open this year. His best finish in The Open came at Royal Liverpool in 2006 when he finished tied 11th.
Andy Sullivan: “This year has been a rollercoaster. I have never played in an Open Championship before so it will be great to get the first one under my belt. It’s unbelievable to get the win and a spot in The Open at St Andrews. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
David Howell: “I’m absolutely delighted with that, it was one of the main reasons for coming here. I haven’t performed well here over the years and I came here specifically to qualify for The Open and to win the tournament so to come away with one of those two things is fantastic.
“It means a lot to play again in The Open. It was one of my goals this year and I’m delighted to have made it.”
Anthony Wall: “It’s fantastic. It will be great to play there. It’s the ultimate place to play golf and The Open.”
The Open Qualifying Series continues at the Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation and the Mizuno Open which are played from 28 to 31 May.
The 144th Open will be played from 16-19 July 2015 at St Andrews.