Success at last for Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel retained his Alfred Dunhill Championship title at Leopard Creek Country Club with a four-shot victory over England’s Richard Finch on Sunday.

The South African, who raced to a 12-shot victory at the same venue last year, banked his third title in Malelane following an earlier victory back in 2005.

In a phenomenal display, Schwartzel went 62 holes without dropping a shot on the way to a 17-under-par tournament total.

The 29-year-old started the day with a two-shot lead over Finch, but unlike last week’s final day at the South African Open Championship, he kept his nerve and pulled away on the 14th hole after his closest rival made a double bogey.

“I had that hiccup in the first round through 17 and the first hole, and after that pretty much flawless with no bogeys from there on in,” said a delighted Schwartzel.

“Most of the time if you play 60 holes or whatever it may be without bogey then hopefully you’ll win,” he quipped.

With this result, Schwartzel will move into the top 20 in the world rankings.

The second place Finch secured on the border of the Kruger National Park would have done his confidence wonders after he lost his tour card at the end of the 2013 season and failing to make the cut in qualifying school.

“He got off to a fantastic start and mine was a little shaky,” Schwartzel said of Finch’s day.

“I know with this golf course out of experience that it’s a long way from over and you just have to keep hitting good shots.”

Schwartzel also admitted that it was one of the more comfortable final rounds of his career.

“It became one of those where I had nothing to prove by hitting it at the flags and being aggressive,” he said.

“It was no time to be a hero trying to hit those shots. I went into a mode where I was trying to make pars and put the pressure on him (Finch).”

Schwartzel added that he would like to carry his current form into his next tournament, which is the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

“It’s been one of those years where I have played well and just didn’t get the wins. Whenever you win and you’re playing well is great, whichever time of the year it happens.”

“I’ve got two tournaments left and last week I played just as well as this week. It shows that I’m playing nicely and I’d like to see if I can continue.”