Schwartzel wins second straight Euro event
Sunday, January 17, 2010
JOHANNESBURG – Charl Schwartzel of South Africa claimed his second straight European Tour title on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 66 to pull away for a six-stroke victory at the Joburg Open.
Schwartzel overcame some early nerves on the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East course to finish at 23-under 261.
“With the confidence I've got right now, you pretty much feel like you can win anything. And the way I played this week, I don't need to stand back for anyone,” Schwartzel said.
Keith Horne of South Africa shot a 64, the day's best round, to share second place with Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland. Clarke eagled the last hole for a 68.
Schwartzel bogeyed the 475-yard third and admitted to some nerves ahead of his final round despite starting the day leading Clarke by four strokes.
“It's not easy leading by four shots,” the South African said. “Your mind can start playing games, and while you feel if you can just carry on playing the way you have been, you should win it, you still actually have to do it.”
Schwartzel settled down quickly with two solid pars after No. 3, and was back on track after a birdie at No. 6.
He made another birdie on the eighth hole to make the turn at one-under, and then birdies at Nos. 10 and 14 took him clear of the field as he coasted home for his second victory in two weeks after he won last week's Africa Open.
He underlined his dominance with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.
“This week has been probably the best golf I have ever played,” said Schwartzel. “You don't go round courses like these and only make three bogeys in the week without playing well.”
Danny Willett of England had a battling round of 68 to finish in a share of fourth with South African James Kamte, who also closed with a 68.
The $1.87 million tournament is the richest of the four Sunshine Tour events co-sanctioned by the European Tour, and is the fourth in the 2010 Race to Dubai.