DCSIMG

Charl Schwartzel sitting pretty on final day

Charl Schwartzel, an 11-shot winner in Thailand last weekend, takes a ten-stroke lead into today’s final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa.

But, if the week is belonging to the 28-year-old from Johannesburg, then the 192-yard 12th at Leopard Creek is compatriot Keith Horne’s property – incredibly, he holed-in-one for the 
second day running.

By repeating the feat Horne, pictured below, won himself a car, but Schwartzel was the one in overdrive.

He shared the halfway lead with France’s Gregory Bourdy, but produced his second successive 64 – the low score of the day again – and stands 21 under par.

It could have been even better for last year’s Masters champion, who in the past month has had finishes of fifth, third, second and first. Another first will surely now follow. He had five birdies in the opening eight holes and, after his first bogey of the tournament, four more birdies in a row from the 12th swept him nine in front.

Then came a trip to the lake on the short 16th, but after rescuing a bogey four from the drop zone Schwartzel – winner of the title eight years ago and four times a runner-up since then – closed with yet another birdie.

By contrast, Bourdy went into the water at the last for a bogey six, resulting in an inward 41 and a round of 74 – yet he is still in second place.

At 11 under he is one in front of third-placed trio Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, England’s Steve Webster and South African Branden Grace.

Horne is one further back.

David Drysdale and last week’s winner at the Nelson Mandela Championship, Scott Jamieson, are the best-placed Scots in a tie for 11th place. Drysdale had a four-under-par 68 yesterday, while Jamieson shot a 71.

• Asia stormed back into contention at the Royal Trophy by taking three points from yesterday’s four fourball matches against Europe.

Holders Europe have a slender 4∫-3∫ lead ahead of today’s eight singles matches at the Empire Country Club in Brunei. Jose Maria Olazabal’s side, consisting of Nicolas Colsaerts, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, Marcel Siem and Henrik Stenson, needs four more points to win the annual contest, loosely based on the Ryder Cup.

 

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