It didn’t take long to witness the first collapse of 2015.
Sullivan notched his first career title, punctuating the victory with a birdie after a miraculous punch shot under a tree to 12 feet. Schwartzel drove the ball wide right in the playoff and came up well short of the green, but hit a pitch shot to kick-in range for par.
Memories of this one won’t be quite as kind for Schwartzel, who took a five-shot lead at the Euro Tour’s 2015 opener after rounds of 68-69-66. It all came undone Sunday, when despite an uneven start he sat at 2 under par for the day on the 14th hole.
Staked to a four-shot lead, the 2011 Masters champion bogeyed the 14th, doubled the 16th and dropped another shot on 17. He managed a par on 18 just to sneak into the playoff with Sullivan, who closed with 67, including a back-nine 32. They finished at 11-under 277.
Schwartzel was searching for his first victory at his home open.