US Open

Schwartzel stays in the hunt

2013-06-16 13:05
Charl Schwartzel (AP Photo)

Merion - Dwelling on disappointment was not on Charl Schwartzel's agenda after he ended a tumultuous US Open third round with consecutive bogeys to drop back into a three-way tie for second on Saturday.

The former Masters champion appeared to have control of the year's second major as he safely plotted his way around the back nine at challenging Merion Golf Club before coming unstuck, like so many others, on the notoriously difficult closing stretch.

Schwartzel carded a one-under-par 69 to finish one shot behind pacesetting Phil Mickelson, but was happy with his score on a layout which has tested the game's best players to the full because of tough pin positions, sloping greens and heavy rough.

"Whenever you shoot an under par on Saturday at the US Open, you can't be too disappointed," the 28-year-old South African told reporters after mixing four birdies with three bogeys on a hot, breezy afternoon at Merion.

"There are a few easy holes out there that you got to take advantage of, which I did. And then you've got the hard ones, which are where you come in and finish on.

"So you're going to get some and you're going to give some, so anything under par is fantastic here."

Schwartzel, who won his first major title by two shots at the 2011 Masters, rebounded from a bogey at the par-five second with birdies at the third, fourth and seventh to join Englishman Luke Donald in an early tie for the lead.

The slender South African was then handed the outright lead at one-under when Donald bogeyed the par-four sixth but the leaderboard kept fluctuating wildly as six different players had turns at the top over the first nine holes.

Schwartzel again moved one stroke clear, at two-under, when he birdied the driveable par-4 10th but he was unable to build on that before ending the day at level-par 210, along with Americans Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker.

"It's going to be a tough day, but every day has felt like that," Schwartzel, an eight-times winner on the European Tour, said of his expectations for Sunday's final round. "You're going to have to give every single shot all your attention.

"There's no hole where you can sort of ease back and free-wheel a bit. Every shot that you hit is really intense. You've got to really stick in there tomorrow and try and hit the shots the best you can."

Asked to assess the difficulty of the final five holes on Merion's iconic East Course, he replied: "If you can pull through there in level par, if you're one or two off the lead, you would be, worst-case, in a playoff.

"But if you're tied or leading and you play those few in level, you would be pretty unlucky not to win."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which of the 8 SA golfers at this year's US Open will fare best?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.