Joburg Open - Event Report
Sullivan leads the way in Open Qualifying at the Joburg Open
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.
“I have never played in an Open Championship before so it will be great to get the first one under my belt.”
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.
“I have never played in an Open Championship before so it will be great to get the first one under my belt," said Sullivan. "It’s unbelievable to get the win and a spot in The Open at St Andrews. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
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.
“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," said Howell. "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.”
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.
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.
For more information relating to the Joburg Open please visit our tournament details page.
Round Three Update
Coetsee, Howell and Blaauw hold Open Qualifying places after three rounds at the Joburg Open
With 18 holes left to play at the Joburg Open in South Africa, Wallie Coetsee, Jacques Blaauw and David Howell hold the qualifying places for The Open.
“It would be very special to play in a Major at St Andrews. It would be a dream come true.”
Coetsee, from South Africa, carded a two-under-par 70 on Saturday to remain at the top of the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round. Three players who finish in the top 10 and ties, who are not already exempt, will qualify for the 144TH Open at St Andrews from 16-19 July, 2015.
Coetsee is in position to make his Major Championship debut at the Home of Golf after taking a two-shot lead over the field at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club to sit at 14-under-par overall. The 42-year-old has earned two titles on the Sunshine Tour and a win tomorrow would mark his maiden European Tour victory.
Blaauw, a former South African Amateur champion, is tied for second place at 12-under-par alongside compatriot Tjaart Van Der Walt and England’s Howell and Steve Webster. Blaauw and Howell hold the qualifying places based on their higher positions in the Official World Golf Ranking. Twenty-nine-year-old Blaauw has won three times on the Sunshine Tour and is also looking to make his first start at The Open.
“Trying to qualify for The Open is in the back of my mind, but I’m trying not to think about it and just trying to think about winning here,” he said. “It would be very special to play in a Major at St Andrews. It would be a dream come true.”
Howell is a former Boys Amateur champion and has won five times on the European Tour including the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews in 2013. He has played in twelve previous Opens but has yet to play in golf’s oldest championship at the Home of Golf. His best finish was tied seventh at the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale.
Round Two Update
Coetsee, Dyson and van der Walt hold Open Qualifying places after two rounds at the Joburg Open
Wallie Coetsee, Simon Dyson and Tjaart Van Der Walt lead the chase for the Open qualifying places at the halfway mark of the Joburg Open in South Africa.
“It would mean everything to me. Since I’ve been a youngster I have watched the pros playing there, it’s a dream.”
Coetsee, from South Africa, moved into a single shot lead after adding a six-under-par 65 on Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course to his opening 66 on the East Course for a 12-under-par total. The 210-man field was split over both courses for the first two rounds and will move to the East for the weekend. Three players who finish in the top 10 and ties, who are not already exempt, will qualify for the 144TH Open at St Andrews from 16-19 July, 2015.
The 42-year-old Coetsee, a 23-year veteran of the Sunshine Tour, earned his second victory last year at the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open and is eager to make his Major Championship debut at the Home of Golf.
“It would mean everything to me. Since I’ve been a youngster I have watched the pros playing there, it’s a dream,” said Coetsee. “I have never even walked the fairways there so if I get in I think I will go a month before and just stay there.”
Englishman Dyson, a six-time European Tour winner, posted a five-under-par 67 on the East course on Friday for an 11-under-par total. If he can remain in position to earn a place in The Open it will be his tenth Open appearance.
“I would love to play in The Open again at St Andrews, I played there in 2005 and 2010 so it would be great to get back in. It’s an added bonus this week.”
Van Der Walt is tied for second place at 11-under-par alongside Dyson and fellow South African Garth Mulroy, but holds the third qualifying place based on his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking. He has finished runner-up twice on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour and is looking to make his second Open appearance after finishing tied 36th at Troon in 2004.
Round One Update
Henning, Moore and Pieters hold Open Qualifying places after round one of the Joburg Open.
Nic Henning and Titch Moore of South Africa and Thomas Pieters (Pictured) of Belgium hold the qualifying places for The Open after the first round of the Joburg Open in South Africa.
“I have always said that if there is one Major I want to play, it’s The Open, especially at St Andrews”
Henning claimed the early lead at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club after opening with a nine-under-par 62 on the West course, matching the course record. The 210-man field is split over the East and West courses before moving to the East for the weekend.
Henning, who is from Johannesburg, is aiming to make his return to the Home of Golf following his only Open appearance at the 129th Open at St Andrews in 2000. The 45-year-old has earned four victories on the Sunshine Tour including the 1999 Vodacom Players Championship where he beat Darren Clarke in a play-off.
Moore carded six birdies and a hole-in-one on the fifth hole on the West course to earn a share of second place at eight-under-par. The nine-time Sunshine Tour winner, who won the Skandia PGA Open on the Challenge Tour in 2003, is looking to make his Major Championship debut at The Open.
“I have always said that if there is one Major I want to play, it’s The Open, especially at St Andrews,” said Moore. “I’ve played there a few times in the Dunhill Links and played nicely. St Andrews is a special place and to play The Open there would be unbelievable.”
Pieters is tied for second place alongside Moore and South Africa’s Tjaart Van Der Walt and holds the third Open qualifying place based on his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 23-year-old’s best finish to date was runner-up at the 2014 Open de Espana and he decided to play at the Joburg Open with the goal of securing a place at St Andrews.
“I came here with the mindset to win and get one of those Open spots. I played there for the first time at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and I absolutely loved it. I love links golf and grew up playing a lot in Great Britain during my junior and amateur years.”