With the kind of winning margin that only the likes of Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth can appreciate, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel dominated the field to win the Tshwane Open Sunday, firing a final-round 63 to finish 16-under, winning the tournament by eight strokes.
Any doubts that were had about his ability to win for the second time this year were erased when he went up four strokes over Zander Lombard at the turn with birdies on six and seven and an eagle on No. 9.
It’s the first time since 2011 that Schwartzel has won twice in the same tournament, and he needed less than two months of schedule to do so, previously winning the Alfred Dunhill Championship this season.
Seven of his last eight European Tour winners have come on his home continent of Africa, the only exception being the 2011 Masters.
“Everything is sort of falling into place,” Schwartzel said on Sunday. “I’ve worked really hard leading up to this and it’s just been feeling good, so everything has got some really good signs, so I’m excited.”
Funny thing is, Schwartzel was nowhere to be found among the leaders after Day 1. His 1-over 71 saw him sitting tied for 38th, eight strokes out of the lead.
But he made up for it in a hurry, with a 64 on Friday, a 66 on Saturday that propelled him to a 1-stroke lead, and the closing round 63 that tied the best round of the tournament. After three bogeys against only two birdies on Thursday, he racked up 13 birdies and three eagles the rest of the way, and tallied just three more bogeys over the course of 54 holes.
Denmark’s Jeff Winther wound up a distant second at 8-under at the Pretoria Country Club in Waterkloof, South Africa. He also came from way back after one day, with his 73 coming before a closing 54 of 66, 69, 64. Winther was consistently inconsistent, with several downright disastrous holes that he had to overcome with birdie barrages. On Thursday he had a pair of triple bogeys – a 7 and an 8, a double bogey on Friday, and four bogeys in his first five holes on Saturday, only to finish 1-under for the round.
Winther was the only non-South African to finish in the top 5.