Employing the strategy that made Tiger Woods practically unbeatable for a decade, Charl Schwartzel built a huge read and played conservative golf the rest of the way to take the Alfred Dunhill Championship title for a fourth time on Sunday.
His second consecutive 70 got Schwartzel to 15 under, enough for a 4-stroke win over France’s Gregory Bourdy, who shot a 68.
Schwartzel struggled on the front nine, creating an opening for his challengers with bogeys on No. 3 and No. 8 to reach the turn at 1-over, the first time he’s played any part of the course over par this weekend.
He found his strength, as he has all weekend, on the back nine, with three birdies in four holes between No. 11 and No. 14 to get to 2-under.
Over the course of four rounds, Schwartzel was a remarkable 11-under on the back nine (36 holes total) with zero bogeys.
On the front nine he was a far more pedestrian 4-under with six bogeys.
Diehl trailed by six strokes to start the round, but was able to make a charge, birdying four straight holes between No. 3 and No. 6 to close within two shots after six holes
He gave most of the momentum back when he double-bogeyed No. 7, got a stroke back when Schwartzel bogeyed No.8, and was still down three shots through 13.
His bogey on No. 14, a hole that Schartzel birdied, was the nail in the coffin.
France’s Benjamin Hebert was the only other player to finish within five strokes of Schwartzel.