SA Open

Schwartzel’s dreams shattered?

2009-12-17 22:12
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo Images)
Marizanne Kok

Paarl – Charl Schwartzel’s dreams of bagging his fourth Sunshine Series order of merit title have effectively been shattered.

The 25-year-old South African carded a disastrous 77 on the first day of the South African Open on Thursday.

Schwartzel started the tournament just over R1.3m behind Danish player Anders Hansen on the order of merit. The South African has to win the tournament to have a chance of overtaking Hansen.

It now looks unlikely after five bogeys and a double bogey over the back nine. He finished the round 13 shots behind Swedish leader Martin Erlandsson.

Hansen is also in a very good position after the first day. He carded a six under par 66 and is placed fourth, two shots behind Erlandsson.

Schwartzel, who won the money title from 2004 to 2006, will kick himself for the manner in which he folded on the second nine, especially after a day relatively free of wind.

It is a course that punishes golfers as soon as the Cape Doctor rears its head, but in the absence of a south-easter, low scores are the order of the day.

There were numerous low scores on Thursday, with Erlandsson leading after an excellent 64.

The forecast is that the south-easter may well blow from Friday and this means that scores are likely to be higher.

It’s difficult to see a way back for Schwartzel, especially if the weather conditions pan out as forecast. He may even struggle to make the cut if that happens.


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