SA Open champ Sullivan seeks US success

From The European Tour

SA Open Championship: Round 4There are few cheerier golfers than Andy Sullivan, but this week the Englishman’s ever-present smile was even wider than usual as he contemplated making his US Open Championship debut.

Sullivan qualified for the second Major of the 2015 season through his position in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking, and whilst the two-time European Tour champion is determined to enjoy the experience to the fullest, he is equally determined to leave his mark at Chambers Bay Golf Club.

“It’s a spectacular part of the world, with the bay in one direction and the mountains in the other,” he said.

“But if the scenery is beautiful, the course itself is a bit of a brute. It’s playing very tough and on a lot of holes the pin positions will be irrelevant. You’ve just got to try to aim for the middle of the greens, take two putts and then move on. They don’t give you much at the US Open, so par is definitely a good score on virtually every hole.

“You never know what you’re going to get out there, because they can change the course set-up so much from one day to the next. So it could be like playing a completely different course every day, but I feel my game is now definitely good enough to compete and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to get going.”

The 28 year old, currently 16th in The Race to Dubai thanks to his two victories in South Africa at the start of the campaign, made a notable impression on his last appearance on American soil, finishing in the top 15 in the Memorial Tournament on the US PGA Tour.

And whilst that performance was unquestionably impressive, Sullivan firmly believes he can match or even improve on it this week, not least because of the ‘linksy’ nature of Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s quixotic design.

He said: “Playing the Majors in America is obviously a step up in my career, but hopefully I handle them as well as I have the other big events in my career. I played well in the Memorial a couple of weeks ago which shows I’m versatile and can adapt my game to the conditions in America, so there’s no reason why I can’t have another good week here.

“At the start of the year it didn’t look like I’d get the chance to play in any Majors, so to be playing here and hopefully the next two as well is amazing. It’s great that Chambers Bay has got that linksy feel about it, because that probably favours the Europeans more than it does the Americans.

“With a US Open, you normally expect it to be tree-lined and with brutal rough, but it’s nothing like that here. So that should definitely play into our hands, and hopefully we can get a European winner this week.”

 

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