In the eighth of our series looking at the players who automatically guaranteed their places in Darren Clarke’s European side for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, we take a closer look at rookie and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.
Following a stellar amateur career that included wins in Argentina, Australia and the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play, plus an appearance for Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup, he turned professional in 2011 and secured a maiden year on the European Tour at that year’s Qualifying School. After losing his card in 2012 and regaining it at Q-School, he finished 98th in the Race to Dubai in 2013 and 33rd the following season before his breakthrough year arrived in 2015, when he won the South African Open Championship and Joburg Open in quick succession before adding the Portugal Masters in the autumn to finish a career-high eighth in the Race to Dubai.
European Tour appearances: 130
European Tour wins: 3
Top ten finishes: 18
Career earnings: €4,630,199
Ryder Cup record
2016 Qualification highlights
Jump-started his bid for a Ryder Cup debut with victory at the Portugal Masters in the autumn of 2015 before finishing runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Came second again in the City of Gold behind Danny Willett at the Dubai Desert Classic in February and has since finished inside the top 20 on a further seven occasions in 2016 including a tied fifth at the 100th Open de France – which carried extra Ryder Cup points – and a share of sixth place at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Sullivan’s form during the points race:
“Now I can let my emotions go and actually think about being in that team. It's amazing. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet but I've got four weeks to let it sink in and get my head around it.
“I feel like it's one of those events where you can let your emotions go a little bit more and show a bit more to the fans and the crowd. I'm really looking forward to that. Going to America, I know it's going to be quite a hostile atmosphere.
“I know the Americans aren't going to let us have it all our own way so I'm quite looking forward to going there and trying to upset the apple cart.”