Charl Schwartzel hangs on to win Africa Open

CHARL Schwartzel claimed his fourth European Tour title yesterday after his final-round 67 was good enough to help him secure the Africa Open title in East London, South Africa.

Playing on his own soil, he ended with a total of 272 – 20 under par overall – to edge out co-overnight leader Thomas Aiken by a stroke.

Aiken, who shared the lead with Trevor Fisher Jr, failed to produce the promising form he showed earlier in the week, which included a pair of 67s and a 69 and had to settle for a 70 yesterday.

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Possibly his most decisive moment came on the par-four fifth hole, where he double bogeyed to slip back early in his round. Another South African, Jbe Kruger, finished in third place on 18 under after his day four score of 70, while Fisher Jr's 72 – the worst among the leaders – dropped him into a share of fourth place with Chris Swanepoel, Englishman James Morrison and Rick Kulacz from Australia on 275.

Northern Irishman Darren Clarke's three-under round enabled him to finish three shots further back on an overall 12 under par for a 280 total.

But the day belonged to Schwartzel, 25, despite having to endure a nerve-wracking wait as he watched the leading two groups finish their rounds.

Steven O'Hara, the only Scot to survive the halfway cut, closed with a 69 – his best round of the week – to finish just outside the top 40 on ten-under-par.