Hartlepool golfer Graeme Storm beats world No 2 Rory McIlroy to win South African Open

Hartlepool golfer Graeme Storm today pipped world No 2 Rory McIlroy in a sudden death play-off to win the South African Open tournament.

Sunday, 15th January 2017, 12:29 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th January 2017, 12:51 pm
Graeme Storm

The thrilling win comes 83 days after the 38-year-old lost his European Tour card by 100 euros.

He was given a reprieve when Patrick Reed failed to play enough events to join the Tour, and today he made the most of his second coming in Johannesburg.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Starting the day three shots clear of the McIlroy, he almost buckled under the heat as the Irishman made five birdies in a final-round 68.

But McIlroy's bogey on the par-three 17th hole teed up a play-off which the Hartlepool man took.

He held his nerve to sink a close-range putt after McIlroy had finished the first time they went back up the 18th hole, but when McIlroy drove wildly the second time, he had a chance.

His first shot was not ideal either, though, following McIlroy into the rough, and back they went again.

The third time out, McIlroy's second shot on the par-four was a poor one, falling short of the green, and a 45-foot putt from Storm that skipped just past allowed him to take a par.

And when McIlroy failed from 7ft the title was Storm's - his second European Tour title and the first since he won the French Open in 2007.