Open de Espana

European Tour

Tournament: Open de Espana
Venue: Centro National de Golf
Winner: Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel’s triumph in the Spanish Open on Sunday means that South Africa now has three of the top six on the European Order of Merit table.
And while that may not mean much to Retief Goosen and Ernie Els, it certainly does to 22-year-old Schwartzel.
The Johannesburg golfer’s victory in Madrid underlined the progress he has made since first earning a tour card as a teen five years ago.
Schwartzel, who beat Indian Jyoti Randhawa by one shot, has also moved up into the world’s top 50 as a result of his win – just in time to earn a place in next week’s Players Championship in Florida, golf’s unofficial fifth major.
But while he is still relatively inexperienced, the man who carried his bag on Sunday is certainly not.
Els’ long-time caddie Ricci Roberts, whose partnership with the former Open and US Open champion ended late last year, started working with Schwartzel at the CA World Championship in Miami a month ago.
“This was our third event together and I must give him a lot of credit,” said the youngster.
“He is very confident and that gives me a little edge.
“It feels good. People said I’d won on the European Tour before but that this was at home in South Africa (the 2005 Dunhill Championship), but I said I could do it in Europe too and it was just a matter of time.”
He trailed Randhawa by two with six to play at Centro Nacional, but at about the same time that Randhawa bogeyed the 15th he birdied the 13th and then sank a 15-foot eagle putt on the long 16th.
“Those three shots (on the 16th) there were probably the three best I hit all week,” he commented.
“It’s not a tee shot to laugh at with water all down the left, but I hit it perfectly and then had the perfect three-iron yardage.”
Bogeying the last – a hole he had double-bogeyed in a third round completed on Sunday morning because of earlier rain delays – reduced the lead to one, but Randhawa had already finished by then.
It was not quite over, though. Spaniard Carlos Rodiles needed a closing birdie to tie, but badly pulled his second shot into thick rough and never came close to holing out with his hack.
He bogeyed and fell back into third place on 14 under, one ahead of the English pair of Mark Foster and Simon Dyson.
For Randhawa it was a fourth runners-up finish on the European circuit and he has still to win – but he has tasted victory seven times in Asia.
The 34-year-old World Cup player, whose wife has given up her Bollywood film career to spend more time with him, became a father for the first time earlier this month and was hoping to complete a remarkable recovery.
He was five over par after 13 holes of the first round before charging to the top of the leaderboard. Even if he did not stay there it was no mean effort.
Randhawa married Chitrangada “Tina” Singh in 2000 and it was three years later that she shot to fame with her debut movie.
More followed and she also became a fashion model, but that inevitably took her away from Randhawa more than they both liked.
“Spending time together was getting to be an issue for us,” he said. “Either I was playing golf or she was busy doing movies.
“Finally she herself decided to quit as she wanted to stay with me all the time – and I must say I was happy with her decision.”
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr and Irl unless stated, Par 72):
272 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 69 68 68 67 (£226,150)
273 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 75 65 66 67 (£150,767)
274 Carlos Rodiles (Spa) 70 66 66 72 (£84,942)
275 Simon Dyson 69 69 66 71, Mark Foster 68 69 70 68
276 Andres Romero (Arg) 70 71 69 66, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 68 71 69 68
277 Tom Whitehouse 71 71 67 68, Alastair Forsyth 68 74 66 69, Stephen Gallacher 71 68 69 69, Nick Dougherty 66 71 70 70, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 67 69 71 70, Stuart Little 67 69 70 71
278 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 71 70 67 70, Graeme Storm 68 72 73 65, Phillip Price 73 65 70 70
279 Paul McGinley 70 72 68 69, Bradley Dredge 69 72 69 69, Johan Edfors (Swe) 71 69 70 69
280 Andrew Tampion (Aus) 74 67 70 69, David Lynn 72 69 69 70, Peter Lawrie 76 65 69 70
281 Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 70 71 71 69, Simon Wakefield 73 69 70 69, Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned) 67 75 72 67, Alexander Noren (Swe) 70 71 71 69, Graeme McDowell 71 69 71 70, Gareth Davies 69 70 73 69, Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 71 73 68 69, Richard Bland 68 71 71 71
282 Manuel Quiros (Spa) 72 68 69 73, Kenneth Ferrie 69 71 71 71, Gary Murphy 71 72 71 68, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 68 72 71 71, Paul Lawrie 74 69 66 73, Emanuele Canonica (Ita) 72 67 69 74, Notah Begay (USA) 68 70 73 71
283 Jonathan Lomas 70 70 73 70, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 73 70 69 71, Oliver Wilson 70 73 70 70, Andrew Raitt 68 70 74 71, David Carter 71 73 68 71
284 Carlos Balaseda (Spa) 70 74 69 71
285 David Park 70 71 70 74, David Drysdale 69 73 72 71, Oliver Fisher 70 74 69 72, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 70 74 70 71
286 Damien McGrane 72 70 68 76, Alvaro Salto (Spa) 69 73 69 75, Ariel Canete (Arg) 71 73 72 70, Ian Garbutt 71 73 72 70
287 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 73 73 71, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 71 72 72 72
288 Andrew Coltart 70 72 74 72, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 69 74 73 72, Gary Orr 71 72 75 70, Marcus Higley 74 70 71 73
289 Steve Webster 72 69 73 75, Taichi Teshima (Jpn) 72 71 73 73, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 69 70 77 73
290 Marcel Siem (Ger) 73 71 75 71
291 Alvaro Velasco (Spa) 73 71 76 71
292 Terry Price (Aus) 70 70 78 74, Francois Delamontagne (Fra) 71 72 75 74
293 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 77 67 74 75
294 Richard McEvoy 75 69 75 75

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