Charl wants to finish in style
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Charl Schwartzel let it all hang out in pursuit of Pablo Martin in last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, and he will try to use that momentum to finish his year in style with a win in the South African Open Championship.
In his homeward nine, he made just one par as he flung the kitchen sink at the 23-year-old Spaniard as he tried to chase him down.
There were five birdies as he fired at the pins, and three bogeys as the gambles failed.
In the end, he was just one shot shy of what would have been his second win at the tournament, but there was a degree of satisfaction about a job well done.
“I put it all in there. There was a lot of confidence. I was making good putts and making a very good charge at the end,” he said.
It was a sense that his putting has come good that gave him the confidence to go after the eventual winner in such cavalier fashion.
“I felt like I putted well,” he said.
“I’ve been struggling with that in final rounds the last... the whole year, basically... the last sort of four, five months. I’ve been hitting the ball well like I did again in the last round. There were a couple of loose shots, but the putting was good.”
It was also the clarity of his decision making which was impressive. As Martin blasted his tee-shot down the middle of the 18th, Schwartzel was scheming about how he could pressurize the youngster.
“I thought let me lay up and leave him with the need to make par on 18,” he said.
“It got close there at the end. I was staring at that three-footer he had very carefully. If you’re trailing, you need to do something,” he added.
While he hasn’t won a tournament this year, the second-place was enough to vault him into second behind Dane Anders Hansen on the Sunshine Tour Oder of Merit.
Hansen’s third place at the Alfred Dunhill earned him over R765 000, and Schwartzel took home more than R1.27m.
He now trails by just over R1.3-million. So victory in the SA Open and a poor finish by Hansen could see Schwartzel winning his fourth Order of Merit race.
“The year’s not finished yet. I’m playing well and looking forward to the SA Open,” he said.