Sunshine Tour

Flawless Schwartzel shares Leopard Creek lead

2016-12-01 18:51
Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)

Malelane - One of his playing partners said of Charl Schwartzel after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Thursday, “He’s going to the range and I’m going for a swim. That’s the difference.”

And Schwartzel turned in a flawless six-under-par 66 to take a share of the lead by one stroke with Ireland’s Paul Dunne, with no fewer than six players in the chasing pack on five-under – a pack which included the likes of BMW SA Open champion Brandon Stone, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal, who was off for that swim.

“Patience was the key,” he said. “That’s true for any tournament. You don’t want to put yourself out of it, which you can very easily do, so on the front nine, I was just really grinding hard to make pars, and when I did find some good shots, I capitalised by making birdies, which was nice.”

Schwartzel has won four times at Leopard Creek, and come second in four more in his 11 starts, so he knows what the course can throw at him and how to deal most effectively with it. And he started with a big par-saving putt on one. “That helps,” he said. “And I made a good par putt on seven, and those putts are sometimes more important than the birdie putts.

“I knew if I could get through there – my game was feeling good, but it was just a matter of getting the execution I was looking for, and on the back nine it came together nicely. There was nothing off about my game on the front nine. I was hitting good shots. The shots I was staring down were finishing on the wrong distances and on this golf course, with all the slopes, you can sometimes end up a long way away.”

Dunne made a double-bogey six on the ninth, but with eight birdies on his card, was worth every penny of his share of the lead. “I pushed my drive on nine to the right, and it wasn’t too bad until it hit the cart path,” he said. “It went deep into the bush and I wasn’t fancying going in there. It’s not worth getting bitten by a snake.”

Also amongst the group on five under were England’s Max Orrin, South African Jean Hugo and Sweden’s Alexander Bjork.

But all eyes are on Schwartzel with three rounds to go as he bids for a record fifth victory– except Larrazabal’s, because he was swimming.


66 - Paul Dunne, Charl Schwartzel

67 - Brandon Stone, Max Orrin, Scott Jamieson, Jean Hugo, Pablo Larrazabal, Alexander Bjork

68 - Colin Nel, Jamie Rutherford, Justin Harding, Adrien Saddier, Jaco Ahlers, Richard Sterne, Dylan Frittelli, Carlos Pigem, Dean Burmester

69 - Anthony Michael, Thomas Detry, Nathan Kimsey, Thomas Aiken, Chris Hanson, Keith Horne, Garth Mulroy, Damien Perrier, Anton Karlsson, Michael Hoey, Branden Grace, Lindsay Renolds, Tjaart van der Walt, Danie van Tonder

70 - JC Ritchie, Vaughn Groenewald, Gregory Havret, Jens Fahrbring, David Drysdale, Neil Schietekat, Madalitso Muthiya, Joel Stalter, Bryce Easton, Jean-Paul Strydom, Rhys West, Mark Williams, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sebastian Heisele, Espen Kofstad, Ulrich van den Berg, George Coetzee, Benjamin Hebert, Peter Karmis, Doug McGuigan

71 - Jake Roos, Erik van Rooyen, Tyrone Mordt, Pontus Widegren, Mark Foster, Jeff Winther, Shaun Norris, Jbe' Kruger, Matthew Nixon, Jake Redman, Steven Tiley, Adilson Da Silva, Christopher Cannon, Oliver Bekker, Laurie Canter

72 - Matt Wallace, Steven Ferreira, Matthieu Pavon, Titch Moore, Richard Mcevoy, Morten Orum Madsen, Christofer Blomstrand, Scott Vincent, John Parry, Ockie Strydom, Richard S Johnson, Andre de Decker, Scott Henry, Sebastien Gros, Pablo Martin Benavides, Darren Fichardt, Ashley Chesters, Jared Harvey, Bernd Ritthammer, Tung-Hung Hsieh, Merrick Bremner, Marcus Armitage, Allister de Kock, Omar Sandys

73 - Graeme Storm, Michael Hollick, Clement Sordet, Daniel Im, Wallie Coetsee, Simon Griffiths, Adrian Otaegui, Callum Mowat, Hennie du Plessis, Louis de Jager, Andrew Georgiou, Jack Hume, DJ Loypur, Keenan Davidse

74 - Zander Lombard, Rourke van der Spuy, Lasse Jensen, Tyrone Ferreira, Albert Venter, Eddie Pepperell, Paul Maddy, Justin Walters, Rafa Echenique, Ross McGowan, Arthur Horne

75 - Heath Slocum, Dale Brandt-Richards, Gregory Bourdy, Gary Stal, Andrew Curlewis, Warren Abery, Jason Froneman, Toto Thimba, Daniel Brooks, Haydn Porteous, Ruan de Smidt

76 - Jeff Inglis, Clayton Bridges, Chris Swanepoel, Tim Hart, Teboho Sefatsa, Dwayne Basson, Ryan Bernard, Fei-Hao Yang

77 - Ryan Carter, Alexander Pitty, Alex Haindl, Christiaan Basson, PH McIntyre, Chun Kang Hung

78 - Dayne Moore, Jason King, Darren Clarke

79 - Pep Angles, Jacques Kruyswijk, Rahil Gangjee, Heinrich Bruiners, Ben Wharton

81 - Alvaro Quiros, Braden Becker, Marc Cayeux, Lyle Rowe, Pieter Kruger

82 - Irvin Mazibuko

84 - Leorin Pillay

85 - Brett Liddle



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