Golf

Storm fends off McIlroy to end title drought

Graeme Storm of England ended a 10-year European Tour title drought by defeating world No. 2 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in a play-off at the South African Open yesterday.

Storm, whose only other triumph came in the 2007 French Open, won with a par four at the third extra hole after McIlroy bogeyed by missing a seven-foot putt.

Three strokes ahead going into the final round, Storm carded a final-round 71 while McIlroy, second overnight, fired a 68 at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg.

They finished on 270, one stroke ahead of another Englishman, Jordan Smith, who closed with a 68.

It was an amazing turnaround for the 38-year-old Storm as he narrowly avoided losing his right to play on the European Tour this season.

"I am in shock," Storm said. "What can I say? This is surreal. I have just beaten a golfer who is the best in the world right now.

"This is a dream come true after nearly losing my Tour card. The whole experience this week has been absolutely incredible." - AFP