Graeme Storm Wins South African Open

The Englishman beat Rory McIlroy in a playoff for his first European Tour win since 2007

Graeme Storm wins South African Open

Graeme Storm wins South African Open by defeating world number two Rory McIlroy on third extra hole at Glendower GC

Graeme Storm Wins South African Open

Just 84 days after missing out on his 2017 European Tour card, Englishman Graeme Storm won the BMW South African Open for his second Tour win.

He began the day with the lead but found himself one back of a charging Rory McIlroy with two to play, but was level with the world number two at 18-under-par coming down the last after McIlroy bogeyed the par-3 17th.

The pair each parred the closing hole before both parring it again twice in a row in the sudden-death playoff.

Storm made his fourth par of the day on the tough 18th which was good enough for victory at the third extra hole after McIlroy failed to get up and down from just short of the green to make bogey.

Related: Rory McIlroy wins 2016 European Tour Shot of the Year

It was his first European Tour victory since the 2007 French Open.

See more

The victory earns Storm €164,408 and he is now excempt on the European Tour until the end of the 2018 season.

The 38-year-old initially missed out on his 2017 card by €100 but was handed a lifeline after Patrick Reed missed the Final Series.

Related: Rory McIlroy What's in the Bag?

"I am speechless. It's been incredible and I can't quite believe it," he said.

"This is a dream come true, especially after what happened to me last year with my card and everything. I really took a lot from that experience and told myself to try and grasp the opportunity of getting my livelihood back with both hands and I have done that this week.

Talking points from the BMW South African Open

1 - Graeme Storm's victory will be one of the stories of 2017 after he so narrowly missed out on his card at the 2017 Portugal Masters. With his job now sorted for at least the next two years we may see him feature on more leaderboards this season.

2 - In worrying news, Rory McIlroy has revealed that he will have an MRI scan on his back. He complained about back pain earlier in the week but has said he thinks that will still play in this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The 27-year-old told the European Tour: "Part of me really wants to make this week because there is so much to play for but at the same time there is so much to play for over the whole season and I don't want to jeopardize long-term goals for short-term gain, hopefully I'll be good to go."

3 - Rookie Jordan Smith finished on 17-under-par for third place alone, one shot off the playoff, in just his fifth European Tour event. The 24-year-old, who won the 2016 Challenge Tour Order of Merit, played in the final group with Storm and McIlroy. He is in Golf Monthly's top 10 players to watch in 2017.

Venue: Glendower Golf Club, City of Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa Date: Jan 12 – 15 Course stats: par 72, 7,594 yards Winner’s cheque: €164,409

1 Graeme Storm (Eng) 69 63 67 71 270 €164,408

2 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 67 68 67 68 270 €119,287

3 Jordan Smith (Eng) 67 68 68 68 269 €71, 780

4 Dean Burmester (RSA) 67 70 67 69 273 €50,930

5 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 67 70 68 69 274 €39, 779

5 Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA) 66 68 71 69 274  €39,779

7 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 68 71 68 68 275 €22,457

7 David Drysdale (Sco) 70 65 71 69 275 €22,457

7 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 72 66 67 70 275 €22,457

7 Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 71 70 63 71 275 €22,457

7 Joel Stalter (Fra) 69 70 65 71 275 €22,457

7 Peter Uihlein (USA) 70 64 70 71 275 €22,457

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x