South African Open: Graeme Storm beats Rory McIlroy in play-off to win title

Graeme Storm
Graeme Storm was ranked 251st in the world rankings before his win at the South African Open
South African Open, Glendower Golf Club, Johannesburg
-18 R McIlroy (NI), G Storm (Eng); -17 J Smith (Eng); -15 D Burmeister (SA); -14 T Aitken (SA), T Fisher Jr (SA)
Selected others: -13 E Molinari (Ita); -12 J Morrison (Eng); -11 G King (Eng), L Canter (Eng); -10 T Lewis (Eng)

England's Graeme Storm beat Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy in a play-off at the South African Open to claim his first European Tour victory since 2007.

The pair finished on 18 under after four rounds at the Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg with 38-year-old Storm winning after three extra holes.

Storm nearly lost his Tour card in 2016 but held his nerve to defeat the world number two for his second Tour title.

His only previous success came at the French Open in July 2007.

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McIlroy made five birdies in a final-round 68 in Johannesburg

In November, Storm finished 100 euros short of the prize money needed to guarantee his spot for this season.

However, he kept his Tour card after American Patrick Reed's points were deducted because he had not played in the minimum number of tournaments required.

"I'm shocked. This has been a surreal week and to find myself in the position I was in with probably the best player in the world was a dream come true," said Storm.

"I got my playing rights due to the fact Patrick could not play and I took it with both hands. To win this tournament with the prestige of it is incredible."

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has won 13 times on the European Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour

England's Jordan Smith finished third for the best result of his career, while fellow Englishman James Morrison tied in 13th.

Storm had held a three-shot advantage over McIlroy after Saturday's play and shot a final round one-under 71.

But a four-under 68 from 27-year-old McIlroy, which included birdies at the first, second, eighth, 13th and 15th and a bogey at the 17th, forced the play-off.

In front of a large crowd, both players made pars at the 18th in the first two-extra holes and Storm registered another par before McIlroy's bogey proved decisive.

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