Schwartzel eyes Joburg hat-trick

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Charl Schwartzel will be aiming to pick up an unprecedented hat-trick of wins at this week’s Joburg Open.

The South African will be vying for the three-peat alongside compatriot Richard Sterne, who will also have a chance of claiming a third win at the tournament this week.

Schwartzel claimed back-to-back victories at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in 2010 and 2011, while Sterne won his titles in 2008 and 2013.

“After some time off I always feel fresh because I drain more mentally than I do physically,” said Schwartzel.

“It’s nice to have had time off and I feel up for the challenge and in our game that’s 85 per cent of the battle won.

“Time will tell what’s going to happen, but at least I feel good.

“We (he and Sterne) have played a lot of good golf around here so we’re pretty comfortable with it and I don’t think anything really changes for me around here.

“It’s always good to play in this tournament at a course that I like, and it’s no different this year.”

South Africans have dominated the event in the past, winning five of the last seven editions, but Schwartzel isn’t underestimating the international challenge.

“It’s not nice when they come and beat you on your home soil,” he told europeantour.com.

“There are a few guys out here that can play it well.

“Alvaro Quiros is here and he is one of the longest hitters in the game so if he hits it straight then he’ll have a good chance this week.”

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