Alfred Dunhill Championship: Charl Schwartzel defends title at Leopard Creek
Last Updated: 02/12/13 9:15am
Charl Schwartzel: In action during the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek
Charl Schwartzel successfully defended his Alfred Dunhill Championship title, with a steady final round of 68 handing him a four-shot victory at Leopard Creek.
Schwartzel shot his third four-under round of 68 of the week to close on 17-under par and enjoy a four-shot victory over England's Richard Finch as his nearest challenger.
Schwartzel held a two-shot lead overnight but Finch went out in 31 to turn up the heat and close to within a shot at the turn.
But former Masters champion Schwartzel is always comfortable at Leopard Creek and plotted his way around the back nine with just one birdie, whilst Finch floundered with a bogey and a double in four holes effectively ending his challenge.
(RSA unless stated)
-17 C Schwartzel
-13 R Finch (Eng)
-10 S Dyson (Eng)
-10 R Fisher (Eng)
-10 R Wattel (Fra)
-9 S Hansen (Den)
From there Schwartzel was in cruise control over the closing few holes to card his third consecutive bogey-free round and a total of 17-under that was far too good for the chasing pack.
"I had that hiccup in the first round but after that it was pretty much flawless golf with no bogeys from there on in," said Schwartzel. "If you're going to play 60-odd holes or whatever without a bogey then you'd hope you would win.
"Richard got off to a fantastic start and mine was a bit shaky, I hit a few bad shots and got a few bad breaks but I know this golf course from experience and it was a long way from over.
"I'd been putting well all week so I thought if I could keep hitting good shots and stay in good shape I'd make a few putts. I knew if I could hit 67 or 68 which is what I was thinking then I thought he would have to play really well to be able to win."
After letting a three-shot lead slip in the final round of the South African Open last week, it was a fine way for the 29-year-old Schwartzel to respond - with the win also taking him back inside the world's top 20.
Simon Dyson finished strongly with four back-nine birdies in his five-under round of 67 putting him in a tie for third place alongside Ross Fisher (69) and Romain Wattel (71).