Schwartzel scoops Tshwane title

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The 31-year-old’s total of 16-under was comfortably ahead of Jeff Winther of Denmark in second on eight-under for the week. It was Schwartzel’s eighth European Tour title on home soil as he gears up his preparations for this year’s Majors.

South African Anthony Michael was third on six-under, with another trio of locals in Justin Walters, Richard Sterne and Dean Burmester sharing fourth on five-under.

Schwartzel started the day out with a one-shot lead over Zander Lombard, but the 2011 Masters Champion quickly got his round going with a birdie at the par four second hole.

A setback would follow at the par four fifth where Schwartzel bogeyed, but he would play flawless golf from that point onwards on the nine to open up a four shot cushion at the turn. Schwartzel reeled off birdies at the sixth and seventh, before an eagle three on the par five ninth to go out in four-under and 13-under overall.

But without much pressure from the chasing pack as Schwartzel opened up a handy lead, he was able to play steady golf on the inward loop.

Even a bogey at the par four 11th did little to derail his march to victory, as he bounced back with a birdie on the par five 12th. Another gain at the par three 14th followed. There Schwartzel rifled in a 40-foot putt from the edge of the green to slam the door shut on the competition.

Another bomb dropped, as if just for good measure at the par three 16th where Schwartzel drained a downhill 30-footer to stretch his lead to seven.

And to cap it off in style, Schwartzel nailed a short birdie putt on the 72nd hole to complete the masterclass display from the Major champion.

It was the perfect start to his calendar year after he missed the SA Open at Glendower due to a stomach illness in early January. It was one of the few titles that still eludes Schwartzel on South African soil, and he would have been especially keen to compete after losing in a playoff to England’s Andy Sullivan in the 2015 SA Open. He also missed out on playing the Joburg Open because of the illness, and thus made his first start of 2016 a memorable one.

It was also his second win of the season following his victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in November.

– ANA


Original source: Schwartzel scoops Tshwane title

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