Storm beats McIlroy in SA Open playoff

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 15: Graeme Storm during Round 4 of the 2017 BMW SA Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club on January 15, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (EDITORS NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage.) (Photo by Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)
  • Post published:January 15, 2017

Graeme Storm beat world number two Rory McIlroy in a playoff for the SA Open on Sunday after both players finished the tournament on 18 under par.

The pair played the 18th at Glendower Golf Club an extra three times and Storm opted for his trusty three-wood off the tee, which led to him making pars until McIlroy made bogey.

‘Unbelievable!’ said the new champion. ‘I had a great battle with Rory. To win & get my name on this trophy is a dream come true.’

Three months ago Storm was 100 euros outside of retaining his European Tour card, but was given a second chance when Patrick Reed withdrew from the Finals Series.

This week he made good on the opportunity and won the second-oldest national open in the world, which comes with a two-year exemption on the European Tour.

‘Graeme has played well all week and what a story it for him,’ said McIlroy. ‘He thought he had lost his card at the end of last year and there he is now standing with a trophy in his hands after the first event of 2017. I’m delighted for him.’

The Northern Irishmen missed a par putt to fall out of the playoff, but was happy with his start to the year. ‘It’s not a bad way to start the season and gives me something to build on in the weeks ahead,’ he concluded.

Dean Burmester was the leading South African and came sole fourth on 15 under par, carding a final-round 69 in spite of his double bogey at the 17th.