Schwartzel cruises to 12-stroke triumph in South Africa|
Malelane, South Africa (Sports Network) - Charl Schwartzel carded a 3-under
69 on Sunday to wrap up an emphatic 12-stroke victory at the Alfred Dunhill
Schwartzel, who also won this event in 2005, endured a two hour weather delay
at Leopard Creek Country Club on Sunday and finished with a tournament-record
"It's always been a special place for me," said Schwartzel, who won his first
European Tour title at this course in 2004. "This is where I can almost say my
career started and it's always stayed close to my heart."
It was the second straight impressive performance by the 2011 Masters
champion, who won in Thailand by 11 strokes last week.
Kristoffer Broberg recorded a final-round 70 and took second place at 12-
under, while Gregory Bourdy (72), Garth Mulroy (68), Scott Jamieson (68) and
Andy Sullivan (69) tied for third at 11-under. Mulroy won this event the last
time it was played in 2011.
Keith Horne (71), Richard Sterne (70) and Steve Webster (72) tied for seventh
at 10-under, George Coetzee (65) and Richard Bland (68) placed 10th at 9-under
and Branden Grace (74), who won four times on the European Tour in 2012,
highlighted a group of three tied for 12th at minus-8.
Schwartzel entered Sunday with a 10-stroke advantage after besting the
tournament's 54-hole scoring record by three strokes. He fired a 64 on both
Friday and Saturday and had an outside shot at breaking Tiger Woods' European
Tour record for largest margin of victory -- 15 at the 2000 U.S. Open.
Additionally, a third straight 64 would have allowed Schwartzel to equal Ernie
Els' record for lowest-ever 72 holes to par -- 29-under at the 2003 Johnnie
Schwartzel started his final round with seven straight pars before 3-putting
for bogey on the par-4 eighth. The 28-year-old South African bounced back with
a birdie on No. 9 and, after a delay due to rain and lightning, carded birdies
on Nos. 12, 13, and 18 to wrap up his eighth European Tour title and the
third-largest winning margin in tour history.
"Slowly and surely I started to swing the club a lot better, back to how I did
when I won the Masters, and I actually got excited to play again," Schwartzel
Bourdy, meanwhile, began the final round alone in second place and remained
there entering his last hole, where he helped add to Schwartzel's wide margin
by stumbling to a double-bogey.
NOTES: Schwartzel is only the second player ever to win the Alfred Dunhill
Championship on two occasions, joining Pablo Martin (2010-2011) ... In
addition to the win this week, Schwartzel has also placed second at Leopard
Creek four times ... Coetzee's 65 marked the best round of the day.
12/16 14:55:35 ET