'The only six pack you'll see me with is beer,' says 2015 SA Open winner Sullivan
The sweet smell of victory in Johannesburg's rarefied air is a sensation to which Andy Sullivan is quite accustomed.
The Brit won the SA Open and the Joburg Open in his breakthrough year in 2015 and this year he is returning a little leaner‚ and certainly more pliable to again do the job at altitude.
“I wasn't the most physically fit in years gone by but it is something that I am going to push now‚" he said.
"I think it is something that is really benefiting me going into this year.
“I'm not talking about busting the gut but I have been training hard.
"I could have done more. It's little gains but it makes a big difference.
“I wasn't the most flexible and I lost a little bit of weight and I still need to lose a little bit more.
"I've worked hard on flexibility. I'm trying to get liaison going between my golf coach and my fitness coach.
- Gauteng premier David Makhura in no doubt about who he thinks the star of this year's SA Open should be
"My golf coach wants me to get into certain positions which means I have to be more flexible.
“That's why he has seen improvement coming into this year without me hitting many balls.
"I've been doing weights‚ just the light stuff. I'm not going to be Mister Universe.
"The only six pack you'll see me with is beer.”
The serious stuff starts in earnest at the SA Open‚ however‚ and apart from this week's short term objectives‚ Sullivan has set distinct medium term targets.
“There is also a lot of world ranking points available this week.
"That is one area I want to focus on and secure a place in that top 20‚ top 30‚” said the player who ranked 14th on the tour last year.
Doing well in the Majors is‚ of course‚ the shortest route to the top and Sullivan is desperate to play more than a bit part on the big stage.
“In 2015 I won three times and I got my first taste of playing in Majors.
"I feel like I'm climbing the ladder slowly.
"Obviously if I'm in contention then great‚” said Sullivan‚ whose best Major placing was 12th at last year's Open.
His experience at last year's Masters‚ where he missed the cut‚ was deeply lamentable.
“I want to go to the Masters and do better than I did last year‚” he chuckled.
“I never get nervous on the golf course but I just could not settle.
"It was killing me and I thought 'this is just torture'.
“I'd rather take a penalty at Wembley than do that. It was brutal.
"It was my first Masters and I hyped it up so much and I just could not settle.”
The SA Open‚ however‚ provides him the opportunity to launch his season with force.
“I love playing in South Africa. Playing this course as well.
"It puts you in good shape for playing in the desert (Dubai next week).
"It is tight and the rough is always up.
"The desert is similar to that. It is an easy choice for me to come out here and play.”
- TMG Digital