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Alfred Dunhill Championship. Charl Charging Towards Title Defense.

A determined Charl Schwartzel is charging towards his defense of the Alfred Dunhill Championship title at Leopards Creek Golf Club in South Africa.

Charl Schwartzel  (Getty Images)

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl fired in a third round of -5 under par 67, to take a two shot lead going in to the final round of his defence of his Alfred Dunhill Championship Title. His tournament total is -13 under par following his bogey free third round effort.

Charl said he felt comfortable on this course, and if he had putted better the lead would have been greater;

“It’s one of those courses where I’m comfortable with all of the right lines. A lot of golf courses you need to hit it on lines that you feel awkward with, but this course is mostly right in front of you. And I think it helps that I’ve had good success here too. If I had really putted well today it could have been very low, the good thing is that I know it’s there. It very easily could have been low, but it was still a solid round of golf and this is still a tough golf course. I felt a lot more comfortable and consequently I was hitting a lot more positive shots. I felt a little more in control than the last few days. Sometimes those things are unexplainable. It’s just human nature and you go through those waves. I hope a good round like this picks me up and I go out tomorrow and have the same.”

England’s Richard Finch is the player closest to the leader, he is at -11 under par after he also carded a bogey free -5 under par 67 third round. Richard lost his European Tour card after a disappointing 2013 season and failed to regain it at Qualifying School, but a victory here at Leopards Creek would hand him the reprieve of a place on The 2014 Race to Dubai. Although the prize of a reprieve is within sight, he has no illusions about the task in front of him;

“If he goes out and shoots a 65, it’s done and dusted, he’s one of the best players in the world.”

Victor Riu, in third place at -10 under par, would have been level with Richard in second place but for a bogey six on the 18th. He explained the circumstances of the unfortunate, unnecessary and costly mistake;

“I took a pitching wedge in instead of a 56-degree wedge, I went right over the pin, and I had a very difficult putt from off the green, so I ended up three-putting.”

 

Australian Masters, Mathew Guyatt the surprising leader after 1st Round

 

 

Golf Australia

Matthew Guyatt

Mathew Guyatt/ Getty Images

Mathew Guyatt is the surprising first round leader of the Australian Masters tournament at the conclusion of play on day one. Mathew, from Queensland,  upstaged his more fancied rivals to claim the outright lead by two shots from the big names chasing him down, by firing a superb -7 under par, 65. Another Aussie, Adam Scott , Ian Poulter from England and New Zealand’s Michael Hendry are the players who are just two shots in arrears of  the 57 year-old Mathew on the par 72 Kingston Heath Golf Club lay-out. Naturally t he score board is full of Australians, out of the top forty places there is only one Englishman, Poulter, Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland, three Kiwi’s and a Frenchman, Victor Riu, to interrupt the flow of Aussie flags on the board.

Ian Poulter

Lone Englishman Ian Poulter/Getty Images

There are a whole host of players tied in fifth place at -4 under par, which includes the Aussie amateur Jake Higginbottom and Kalem Richardson who is in his first full year as a professional has rarely been near the top of the leaderboard before, but is hoping for better things to come. Kalem said of his start to this tournament;

“I set my goals pretty high and my goals are always towards the end of the week now, I know I can start tournaments well. Now it is all about putting four rounds together, I’m ahead of where I thought I would be sitting after the first round and I hope I keep playing well. I’ve played around here a fair few times, so that was really helpful. The front nine I was just hitting it really well and on the back nine I made some more putts, I’m feeling pretty good about my game.”

Kalem will have a tough task on his hands if he is to win here, with the likes of Adam Scott and the inform Ian Poulter keen to add another victory to their bulging CV”s.

 

 

 

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