Schwartzel wraps up emphatic win

  • Last Updated: December 16 2012, 17:48 GMT

South African Charl Schwartzel completed his fantastic finish to 2012 with an astonishing 12-stroke victory on home soil at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Schwartzel wraps up emphatic win

The third biggest winning margin in European Tour history was achieved at Leopard Creek a week after last year's US Masters champion won in Thailand by 11 shots.

Only Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who won the 2000 US Open and 2005 Asian Open by 15 and 13 respectively, have left the best of the rest trailing so far behind in the circuit's 40-year history.

Schwartzel, 10 clear with a round to play, added a three-under-par 69 either side of a two-hour thunderstorm delay to take his eighth Tour title - five of them in South Africa - with a 24-under-par total.

In the Thailand Championship he was 25 under, and for the past five weeks - they started with finishes of fifth, third and second - he is a staggering 84 under.

France's Gregory Bourdy, his closest challenger for virtually the entire weekend, took a double-bogey seven on the final hole and that elevated Swede Kristoffer Broberg, four times a winner on the Challenge Tour last season, into second place.

Bourdy shared third with Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who last Sunday captured the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, defending champion Garth Mulroy and England's Andy Sullivan a month after he came through the Tour qualifying school.

Schwartzel also continued a remarkable record at the course on the border of the Kruger National Park. He won his first Tour title there in 2004 and has had four runner-up finishes.

"It's always been a special place for me," the 28-year-old said. "This is where I can almost say my career started and it's always stayed close to my heart.

"It's nice to have continued my form from last week. I was saying a month and a half ago it's been a pretty disappointing year.

"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.

"It started at the SA Open and from there got better and better. It's been a pretty good year now!"

Schwartzel's lead was down to seven when he three-putted the eighth, but he spun his approach to three feet on the next and after the weather hold-up he collected more birdies on the 12th, 13th and par-five last.

Fellow countryman George Coetzee's best-of-the-day 65 lifted him into joint 10th place and came after results elsewhere had guaranteed he stayed in the world's top 50 and earned himself a Masters debut next April.

Also qualifying by the same route for a first trip to Augusta are Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Belgian Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, South African Branden Grace and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.

Geoff Ogilvy would have denied Olesen if he had had one less shot at the Australian PGA Championship, where he finished in a tie for fourth place.

Others to book their Masters places through the end-of-year top 50 are Scot Paul Lawrie, Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, American Bill Haas, Australian Jason Day and Japanese player Hiroyuki Fujita.

Coetzee told the Sunshine Tour website: "My dream has never been just to play in The Masters. That's not the job description - I want to play in those majors and I want to win all of them.

"It's great to have the opportunity. Last week I could feel that The Masters was making me play a bit rubbish because it puts a bit of pressure on you.

"After three days of scrapping around this week I got things together. It's Augusta - it's the one major with a limited field, it's the best in the world.

"I watched it as a kid and I was mad at Phil Mickelson for beating Ernie (Els) that year (2004) when he holed that putt and jumped around like a madman.

"It's got so much history and I'm sure it's going to be an unbelievable experience. As they say in poker - if you have a chip and a chair you never know."

South African Keith Horne could not manage a third successive hole-in-one on the 12th - the second won him a car - but Swede Magnus Carlsson did ace the same hole on the final day.

Collated final round scores and totals (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

264 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 67 64 64 69

276 Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 70 69 67 70

277 Andy Sullivan 73 71 64 69, Garth Mulroy (Rsa) 71 68 70 68, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 66 65 74 72, Scott Jamieson 70 68 71 68

278 Steve Webster 67 69 70 72, Keith Horne (Rsa) 70 69 68 71, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 70 68 70 70

279 Richard Bland 67 73 71 68, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 70 73 65

280 David Howell 70 73 70 67, Branden Grace (Rsa) 68 71 67 74, Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa) 70 68 71 71

281 Danie Van Tonder (Rsa) 72 70 67 72, Richard McEvoy 69 70 74 68, Peter Lawrie 70 71 69 71

282 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 71 69 72 70, Danny Willett 70 73 67 72

283 Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa) 72 68 71 72, Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 72 70 71 70, Justin Walters (Rsa) 73 71 68 71, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 67 68 73 75, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 71 71 68 73

284 Gary Lockerbie 73 70 69 72, Desvonde Botes (Rsa) 75 69 69 71, David Drysdale 69 72 68 75, Bjorn Akesson (Swe) 71 70 70 73, Oscar Floren (Swe) 69 70 70 75

285 John Parry 72 70 67 76, Marc Warren 73 71 75 66, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 69 71 74 71, Michael Jonzon (Swe) 74 67 71 73, Doug McGuigan 71 71 68 75, Eddie Pepperell 74 70 73 68, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 67 69 73 76

286 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 73 71 69 73, Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 71 72 73 70, Robert Rock 69 68 77 72, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 68 69 72 77, Richard Finch 70 68 78 70, Matteo Delpodio (Ita) 72 68 69 77, Vaughn Groenewald (Rsa) 72 70 69 75

287 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 70 70 72 75, Divan Van Den Heever (Rsa) 73 71 69 74, Simon Wakefield 74 67 75 71

288 Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 67 77 72 72, Peter Whiteford 75 68 75 70, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 69 71 69 79

289 Anton Haig (Rsa) 73 66 72 78, Tommy Fleetwood 69 69 74 77, Allan Versfeld (Rsa) 71 72 76 70, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 72 69 78, Sam Little 72 69 76 72

290 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 70 73 67 80, Peter Uihlein (USA) 70 73 72 75, Hennie Otto (Rsa) 71 71 75 73, Estanislao Goya (Arg) 70 74 71 75, Jean Hugo (Rsa) 71 71 74 74, Eduardo De La Riva (Spa) 72 69 77 72, Graeme Storm 68 74 76 72

291 Ockie Strydom (Rsa) 69 69 76 77, Tyrone Mordt (Rsa) 71 67 80 73, Christiaan Basson (Rsa) 70 72 75 74, Matthew Southgate 70 74 73 74

292 George Murray 73 69 73 77, Matthew Nixon 75 69 75 73

293 Neil Cheetham 73 71 75 74

295 Matthew Baldwin 69 72 79 75

300 James Kamte (Rsa) 70 72 74 84


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