The first time I ever noticed Andy Sullivan’s name was in early 2013. I remember the day well. I had just completed a Sunday morning round at Blackmoor Golf Club in Surrey, and wasn’t performing well. But when I was sitting in the clubhouse admiring all the names of the past winners of the Selborne Salver – an elite amateur competition held in the summer, one name stood out.
With a low round of 60, it was Andy Sullivan.
Three years later, Andy (29) the senior of the two of us, is now preparing for another great season. Gone are the days of the amateur tournaments. Now he is preparing for a breakthrough season on the PGA Tour, and I am back in the UK after two years of attempting to play golf in Miami and South Africa. In fact, I’m certain Andy and I crossed paths back in Joburg in 2015 when he had his first win at the SA Open. Sadly, it was as I was leaving Joburg and he was winning!
It is Andy’s down to earth character and attitude that makes me a fan and an aspiring member of the “Sulli Army.”
He is not one of these fitness fanatics with a robotic golf swing. Nor is he a player with a team of psychologists analysing every minute he is out on the course. He is a guy from Nuneaton who used to work at a supermarket. His fans who follow him at tournaments also bring a breath of fresh air to the sport. They’re creative, witty and fun – more like the Europeans at the Ryder Cup than the simple USA chants. (Yes, that was intended as a dig.)
As of today, my Instagram request to follow Andy has yet to be approved! I’m hoping this blog series will help convince him of how serious I am. Keep an eye out. He is not a man who has rushed to social media to Tweet about his daily life. He is a golfer with the calibre to compete with the best, and has proven already that he can challenge the best, without stealing the limelight. A true underdog. Hence why I have high hopes for him this season.
Fingers crossed I will be accepted into the Sulli Army this year, and that Andy will break into the top 20 in the world (he was outside the top 150 in January 2015.)
We’ll have to wait and see…
Howard Millard, Aspiring Sulli Army Member
Want more from the unofficial groupies? Check out Nick and Michelle Wie here.