Schwartzel wins Dunhill Championship by 12 shots
MALELANE, South Africa (AFP) –
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by 12 strokes Sunday at the 6,671-metre Leopard Creek Estate after shooting a three-under-par 69 on the final day.
The 28-year-old ended the tournament with a 24-under-par total of 264, adding to his 11-stroke victory at the Thai Championship last week.
Schwartzel’s 10-stroke lead from the morning fell to eight when thunder and heavy rain forced a two-hour break until the afternoon at the pristine course on the southern border of the world-famous Kruger National Park.
He was on par when play resumed, but birdied the 12th, 13th and the difficult 18th to claim the title that was his to lose.
“I had such a bad lie in the rough on the 18th and in the back of my mind, I remembered what happened to Ernie Els,” said Schwartzel.
Els lost two strokes in the water on the 18th in 2007, handing John Bickerton the title.
“I just thought I had a lot more shots than Ernie had, so I decided to have a go, just to see if I could pull off the hero finish. I hit that ball so hard. It came out nicely and it worked out okay,” he said of his nine-iron blast that sunk the ball for four on the par-five hole.
Schwartzel celebrates his second win at Leopard Creek after taking the title in 2005 and four second places.
“I’ve come a long way. This has always been a special place for me. This is where my career started. This was the first win I got and it will always stay close to my heart,” said the 2011 Masters champion.
“Last week I got that win by a big margin, and normally when you come back the next week it’s hard to put up the same show,” he said.
“To me that’s the most satisfying — to continue the form that I had up in Bangkok after the flight and the jetlag and come here and play the same sort of golf.”
The win seals a tough season for the eight-time European Tour title winner.
“A month and a half ago it had been a pretty disappointing year for me,” he said. “It’s turned out to be a pretty good year now.”
Gregory Bourdy from France lost pace toward the end and double-bogeyed the 18th to end with on 11-under 277 and slip to joint third with defending champion Garth Mulroy from South Africa and Englishman Andy Sullivan.
Swede Kristoffer Broberg climbed to second thanks to a two-under-par 70.
He birdied the ninth and 11th, but surrendered these immediately with bogeys on the 10th and 12th.
He then eagled the par-five 13th to end on 12-under 276.