Tournament Recap- South African Open

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff January 7, 2015 17:27

Charl Schwartzel looked unbeatable after the 3rd Round of the South African Open, taking a 5 shot lead into the final round on Sunday. Unforrunately, for Schwartzel, a major meltdown over the last few holes derailed his run. Poor play, plus an early shot of the year candidate from Andy Sullivan on the playoff hole helped to send Schwartzel to his demise.

Schwartzel played great in the first three rounds of the tournament, shooting three straight rounds below 70 enroute to a 5 shot lead. Sullivan, to his credit, actually needed to make up 7 strokes in order to force a playoff. Schwartzel certainly helped to aid Sullivan’s comeback by bogeying the 14th hole, double bogeying the 16th and then bogeying the 17th, dropping 4 strokes over the last five holes.

Still in shock from the collapse, both players moved back to the 18th hole for a playoff. Each player missed the fairway with their tee shot, which set up the dramatic finish for the tournament. Schwartzel was forced to shoot his second shot back to the fairway where he then chipped to the green and saved par. Sullivan, however, punched a beautiful 9-iron shot through the rough and under trees, rolling the ball to 12 feet from the pin where he would then sink a beautiful birdie putt to seal his first tour victory. His 7 shot comeback in the final round is the largest comeback on the final day of this event since it became a part of the European Tour back in 1997.

Other fantasy players of note in the field performed reasonably well. Ernie Els actually started the tournament very strong with an opening round 67 to put him near the top of the leaderboard before throwing up a 77 in round 2 and never seriously contending the rest of the weekend. Els finished the tournament tied for 20th place.

Richard Sterne fared similarly to Els with a fast start at 67 to start the tournament and then faded the second day enroute to a 20th place tie with Els. Branden Grace, coming off of his win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, posted a strong follow up performance to his win with a 15th place finish. Edoardo Molinari also started the tournament well with a 69 on the first day before succumbing the final three rounds and finishing at +1 for the tournament, good for a 41st place finish. The Europen Tour continues next week with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff January 7, 2015 17:27

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