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Alfred Dunhill Championship. Schwartzel Repeats Triumph.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel repeats his triumph at Leopards Creek Country Club by retaining the Alfred Dunhill Championship title.

Charl Schwartzel  (Getty Images)

Charl and his Trophy / Getty Images

Charl completed his retaining mission at Leopards Creek by shooting a final round -4 under par 68 for a tournament score of -17 under par, a comfortable four shot winning margin. After carding a double bogey on the tenth hole of his first round, Charl then went 62 holes without dropping another shot;

“I had that hiccup in the first round through 17 and the first hole, and after that pretty much flawless with no bogeys from there on in. Most of the time if you play 60 holes or whatever it may be without bogey then hopefully you’ll win. It’s always nice to get a win and get some confidence up. It’s been one of those years where I have played well and just didn’t get the wins. Whenever you win and you’re playing well is great, whichever time of the year it happens. I’ve got two tournaments left and last week I played just as well as this week. It shows that I’m playing nicely and I’d like to see if I can continue.”

Richard Finch, from England, finished in second place at -13 under par, he played well but could not match Charl’s flawless golf. His runner-up cheque of €172,500 is likely to go a long way towards helping him getting his card back for the 2015 season. Richard said that Charl started hot;

“He got off to a fantastic start and mine was a little shaky. I know with this golf course, out of experience, that it’s a long way from over and you just have to keep hitting good shots.”

Returning to golf competition for the first time since the officials laid a ridiculous cheating charge against him, Simon Dyson, who is still waiting for the outcome of that charge, finished a creditable third. Simon fired a competitive final round of -5 under 67, to share third place at -10 under par with Ross Fisher and Romain Wattel.

It would be good for the animal kingdom of South Africa if the likes of Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Gary Player Etc, got on the bandwagon for trying to stop the slaughter of endangered species by South African tourist company’s. These people rear Giraffe, Rhino, Leopards and Lions, all endangered creatures, to be shot by so called big game hunters. The animals have no chance, they are kept in enclosed area’s. This practice is Not Illegal in South Africa, the World should put pressure on them to stop what is known as Canned Hunting. Sign the petition HERE.

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.”

 

Euro Tour. Lee Leaps Into The Lead With A Lovely 61.

Scotland’s Craig Lee leaps into the lead at the Omega European Masters tournament in Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland,with a lovely third round of 61.

Craig Lee  (Getty Images)

Craig Lee / Getty Images

Craig came close to shooting the European Tours first sub sixty round, but was happy to sign his card for superb third round score of -10 under par,61. I said yesterday that someone would have to do something special to separate themselves from the log jam at the top of the leaderboard, and Craig has done just that, even with carding a bogey on the 12th hole. He now takes a two shot lead going into tomorrow’s final round, with his tournament total of -16 under par;

 ” It was comfortably my best round ever. Even as an amateur or in a bounce game, I’ve never managed to get to double figures. So this is my best round by far, you just try to focus on each shot you play though. When you hit it and it is executed properly and you see it flying down the pin, it is pretty special. For the first 12 or 13 holes that was what was happening. It was pretty surreal to see all these good golf shots coming out in the same day. I’ve been playing quite nicely for a while so it has all come together. I would like to have had a heart rate monitor on, from the first I don’t think my heart got under 100 beats per minute. There were certain crucial putts that got the heart going and I don’t think it ever slowed down. I’m still not really ready to relax.”

There is a trio of players in second place at -14 under par, including the defending Champion Thomas Bjørn, who carded a third round -4 under par 67.

Joining Thomas on the -14 under par score are Victor Dubuisson of France and Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares.

Alejandro was happy with his back nine, which saved the day for him;

” I made birdie on the 10th and from there on, everything just happened the right way. I’m very happy to finish the way I finished although there were a couple of tough putts in the end but I still managed to save the round.”

In another memorable moment on the day England’s Richard Finch scored a hole in one on the par three 13th hole, Richard played a six iron dead weight to win an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial in red gold.

The winner of this tournament will come from one of the top four players today, everyone else is too far adrift to make a serious challenge, unless of course they shoot a sub sixty final round.

Volvo World Match Play Championship, Poulter out

Defending champion Ian Poulter has been knocked out of the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, with what looks like an easy win at 4-3. Another Englishman,Justin Rose is also out, beaten by Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium by the same 4-3 score. In fact there are no Englishmen competing on day four of the tournament. Tom Lewis went down to Sergio Garcia, Richard Finch to Graeme McDowell and Robert Rock  fell to Retief Goosen.

In the quarter finals G-Mac eased out local boy Sergio Garcia, and Paul Lawrie had an easy time of it despatching Retief Goosen 6 and 5. Brandt Snedeker and his borrowed clubs finally fell to Nicolas Colsaerts, while Alvaro Quiros lost to countryman Rafael Cabrera-Bello 3 and 1.

Paul Lawrie will now face Nicolas Colsaerts, and Rafael Cabrera-Bellow will play Graeme McDowell in the semi finals.

Rafael said of his match against Alvaro Quiros;

“I got to play with a friend in Alvaro. I’m very happy for me but I feel sorry for him, and he’s such a good guy. We had a good match today. I feel like I’m playing really good.  This morning I recovered in a tough game, being two down with five to play, and now this afternoon, three down after nine and being able to win, I feel really proud of that. I have to play G Mac, and he has a lot of experience and is a Ryder Cup hero, so he’s obviously going to be a very, very tough guy to beat.  I’m going to try my best and I’m playing good. Hopefully I can start as good as I did on my first two matches and if I don’t, I know I can come from behind and make it through. So we’ll just see what happens.”

Graeme thought he was pretty lucky to get past Sergio Garcia;

“It wasn’t exactly El Classico and I feel like I dodged a bullet there. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I was going home, but sometimes you have to win ugly and sometimes to win you need what just happened to me. I count myself lucky.”

Sergio was disappointed but said he was not quite playing well enough;

I’m playing so badly this could happen at any moment.  Making it to the quarter finals having played so badly means it was a good tournament. I had no good quality shots.  He gave me some chances that I could not take and I have been saying it from the first day that I have not felt comfortable and I am not happy with my game.”

 

Branden Grace Wins Volvo China Open @ Binhai Lake GC, Tianjin China

Grace maintains advantage

Branden Grace (Getty Images

Branden Grace won the Volvo China Open at Binhai Lake GC, already a two-time winner on The European Tour this season Branden enjoyed a  three shot victory over defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts. Branden’s had a final round of -3 under par 69, for a tournament total of -21 under par. Nicolas also finished with a -3 under par 69 to secure second place by himself, with a total of -18 under par.

With this win Branden Grace joins an elite group, only Ernie Els and Retief Goosen have won three European Tour victories in one year, Branden now makes the count three.

Ian Poulter has a last round -6 under par for a 66 for a tournament total of -10 under par. A full seven shots off the lead, but at last he found some form out here at Binhai Lake GC.

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