Alfred Dunhill Championship. Charl the Champion.

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Charl Schwartzel emerged as the Champion at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl cruised to a four shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship with a -2 under par 70 final round giving him a total of -15 under par. he becomes the first South African to win four official European Tour titles at the same event, making him the king of Leopard Creek Country Club. He would like to play a Major here;

“I wish we could play some Majors here. It’s definitely my favourite place, I love coming here and the golf course.”

“It feels good, the way I’ve played the last few years, I’ve been down in quite a slump, I didn’t really see myself coming out and winning.”

“But we’ve put in so much hard work in the last 18 months and it’s frustrating when week-in, week-out you’re playing and it feels like it’s never going to turn.”

“I guess there’s no better fit than for it to turn around here. This place has treated me really well. I got my first win here and now my tenth so I think it’s pretty fitting.”

“It turned on the back nine. I felt more comfortable today.”

“My chipping was really fantastic on the weekend and that’s what got it going. I made birdie on 11 and 13 and 14.”

“I knew I was going to have to shoot at least two or three under on the back nine to give myself a good chance of winning and I’m very happy with that.”

“Once I saw the board on 16 then I felt comfortable and I knew it was up to me not to make any mistakes.”

Grégory Bourdy finished in second place, at -11 under par, a good final round -4 under par 68 saw him climb up the leaderboard.

Another Frenchman came in third, Benjamine Herbert at -10 under par, he could only managed a last round of even par 72.

Low round of the day went Jaco Van Zyl, -8 under par 64, he finished T8 at -7 under.

Alfred Dunhill Championship. Schwartzel Sails On.

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Charl Schwartzel sails on in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopards Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Charl Schwartzel watched by the Leopard / Getty Images

Charl will take a three shot lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship after his third round -2 under par 70 gave him a -13 under par tournament total.

Charl, the home town favorite, is already a three-time winner of this event, but admitted he struggled a bit today, as he tries to become the first South African to win the same official European Tour event four times;

“I felt really uncomfortable to be honest, I struggled.”

“As good as the long game was the first few days, it was as bad today and it made me feel very uncomfortable.”

“If I can have some bad rounds still under par, out of my experience, that’s how you compete in tournaments and even win tournaments.”

“On the positive side of it, I’ve shot a lot worse scores playing like this and that means there is an improvement in my game.”

“It can’t be far away. It has to be feelings, I’m just feeling very, very uncomfortable so if I can go and find something that can trigger me I think I’ll sleep a little better.”

“I just would like to play some decent golf. If someone shoots a low score and beats me then so be it. I just want to play some decent golf myself, I’ve been longing for it for a while.”

Sharing second place, at -10 under par is European Tour rookie Sebastien Gros, he fired a third round -9 under 63, and he is tied with countryman Benjamine Herbert, both players are from France. Benjamine carded -4 under 68.

At -8 under, fourth place belongs to Dylan Frittelli, another South African, who best finish to date is  a tie for tenth place at last season’s Tshwane Open. He should be able to improve on that result here, he posted a third round -6 under 66 today.



Alfred Dunhill Championship. Charl Schwartzel Has 36 Hole Lead.

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Home town boy Charl Schwartzel has the 36 hole lead in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl carded a second round -5 under par 67 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship to give him a -11 under par tournament total, and a fabulous five shot lead over the field at the half-way stage of the competition. He came out early in the morning to finish the first round and birdied the final hole, and just carried on from there.

Charl  is a three-time winner here, and really likes this course, set on the edge of the Kruger National Park, and said if he could make some putts he could score even better;

“It’s definitely my favourite place to come and play.”

“Every year I’ve come back here, as soon as I arrive I get that real comfort feeling, a peaceful feeling and it is to do with the surroundings, the nature.”

“It’s a place I normally go to, to relax, so I’m playing in a very relaxed environment.”

“On top of that the golf course also suits my eye really well. The last ten years I’ve aimed at the same trees on every hole at the end of the fairway.”

“The last few weeks I’ve been playing well and it’s nice that a few things are falling into place a little better this week.”

“Since Turkey I’ve felt like my long game has been really good and I’ve given myself a lot of chances.”

“That’s one part of the game and if I make some putts I can score better.”

Sharing second place, at -6 under par, are; Benjamin Hebert, Joost Luiten, Pablo Martin Benavides and Richard Sterne.

First round leader Christiaan Basson slipped back today, a sad second round of +4 over par 76 left sharing ninth position at -4 under par.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, missed the cut here, two rounds of over par leading to his downfall. Last year he made every cut, writing eight on his card at the par three 7th here did not help his cause.

Alfred Dunhill Championship. 1st Round Suspended.

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1st round play in the Alfred Dunhill Championship was suspended due to a weather warning at Leopards Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Chrsitiaan Basson / Getty Images

Home town boy Christiaan Basson was the leader in the clubhouse in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, as play was suspended, with a completed bogey free first round of -8 under par 64, giving him a three shot lead. He and the other leaders took full advantage of his early tee time, and Christiaan said he had played very well;

“I played very well today, I was pleasantly surprised. I was coming into this week with good form but you can’t expect that good a round first off.

“Hopefully I can keep playing the way I’m playing, golf is a funny game, you never know what is going to happen.”

“We’ve just found something that I was doing wrong coming into Cape Town and that’s just one swing thought that has kind of got me on track.”

“It’s not a big thing, it’s a basic thing but it’s made all the difference the last two weeks and I’m quite happy.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are, Mark Williams from Zimbabwe, Matt Ford, England, with another South African Charl Schwartzel, who still has one hole left to complete.

Defending Champion Branden Grace, who finished third in The Race to Dubai last week carded a first round of -1 under par 71.

There are still 39 players yet to finish their opening rounds, with play set to resume at 0630 local time on Friday.

Tshwane Open. Morten Ørum Madsen and David Horsey Lead.

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Morten Ørum Madsen and David Horsey share the 1st round lead at the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Morten Ørum Madsen / Getty Images

Morten produced a beautiful first round of -7 under par 63, which included everything, a bogey, an Eagle and an Ace, to share the lead of the Tshwane Open with David Horsey, who carded a blemish free opening round.

Morten is playing well, and said he had found some consistency in his game overall, and very impressed with his Ace;

“The last couple of weeks I’ve been hitting some shots really close and I actually said to my caddy last week that a hole in one is on the cards pretty soon.”

“Luckily for me it came today. I hit a fantastic shot, I couldn’t hit it better, and it spun back into the hole. That was only my second hole in one and it’s really special to have one in competition on The European Tour.”

“When you stand on the next tee you’re pretty pumped and confident. I succeeded in gathering my thoughts and hit a really nice drive and then a great second shot and then sank it, which was a fantastic way to finish.”

“It was the kind of thing you dream about, but don’t expect. Today was a great day and I had a lot of fun out there.”

“I’ve found something in my game that’s working and I’ve been pretty consistent.”

David reported that this is a course you have to think your way around;

“This place demands a bit more than just long hitting, it’s nice to play golf courses that make you think a bit more than just taking driver on every tee.” 

“I plotted my way around, because it’s very much a positional golf course. On the whole I’m very pleased with today’s work.”

Tied in third place are Wallie Coetsee, a runner-up in the Joburg Open a fortnight ago, and Brett Rumford, these two are only one shot behind the leaders at -6 under par today.

Wallie spoke of his recent good form;

“Today was special, things went my way but I’m doing something right. These three weeks have been very special.”

Keith Horne, Merrick Bremner, Dean Burmester and Raphael Jacquelin tied for the fifth position on -5 under par for the tournament.

Nedbank Challenge. Ross Fisher Starts Fast.

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Ross Fisher starts fast in the 2015 Race To Dubai, leading the Nedbank Challenge in the first round at the Gary Player Country Club, in South Africa.

Nedbank Challenge

Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Ross fired a first round -6 under par 66 to lead the Nedbank Challenge at the end of the day in South Africa, with a two shot advantage. He made the most of the reachable par fives;

“I think the par fives are all scoreable. They are all reachable, but you’ve still got to hit two good shots. So par fives are quite key, but again, there are more scoreable holes out there.”

“There’s quite a lot of short par fours where if you get your driver in good position, you’ve got short irons into the greens, and the greens are putting well.”  

“So as long as you can read the putts well, there’s definitely some scoreable holes out there. I felt like I drove it really well. I didn’t miss many fairways.”

“Everyone’s got their own way of playing this golf course. You can’t really be too overly aggressive, but my style of golf, I like to hit driver a lot because I feel like I hit it quite long and I do generally hit it pretty straight.” 

There is a three-way tie for second place at -4 under par, local man George Coetzee shares the place with Marcel Siem and Alexander Levy at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

Marcel provided the most remarkable shot of the day for the watching gallery. Using an eight iron, his 183 yard approach to the par four 17th deflected off the right edge of the green, and then spun into the hole for an eagle that won the him a Volvo V40 T5;

“It’s not the best golf shot at all for me in my career. I tried to draw it in and it stayed straight and hit the fringe and had a firm bounce to the left. It was really cool to hole that one.”

George was playing alongside Ross Fisher, saying they fed off each other;

“I’m sure we fed off each other. I’m sure he’s grateful for me, too.” 

Stephen Gallacher, European Tour 2014 Rookie of the Year Brooks Koepka and Miguel Angel Jiménez, who was the first player to tee off on the second longest course in European Tour history, are in a group of six players on -2 under par, Miguel had this to say

“I’m the oldest guy in the field, probably the guy who played more years. Now I start my 27th season today on the first tee. It’s nice to make the first shot of the season.”

Tshwane Open. 2 Tied at the Top, Play Suspended.

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Two players were tied at the top of leaderboard at the Tshwane Open when play was suspended on the  1st day at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate in South Africa.

Simon Dyson  (Getty Images)

Simon Dyson / Getty Images

Simon Dyson birdied his last four holes to grab the clubhouse lead with his completed, bogey free, first round of -7 under par 65. He is joined at the top of the Tshwane Open leaderboard by Trevor Fisher Jnr, who has yet to finish his round. Trevor has completed 16 holes and will return to the course at 0645 tomorrow to finish his first round, with the second round beginning at 0700.

Simon explained how he played, and how his putting has improved;

“It was really nice, it’s a lovely start. It’s my lowest round in a good few years, especially on the first day. It just puts you in a nice frame of mind, a good stead, and sets it up nicely to have a good weekend. I holed a good six footer for par at the first and then about a 40 footer for birdie at the second and that was it, I was off and running.

I had made three really good up and downs on the holes before the 15th. I drove it in the bunker down 12 and then missed the green left and chipped it to about ten feet and rolled that one in for par. On the next I hit a good shot and it just released and rolled into the bunker and I upped and downed that, rolled in about an eight footer for par. I flew the green at 14 and then made a really good up and down. 

“You just kick on after that and next I had the par five, where you always have a chance. Putting has been the let-down for the last few weeks, but me and my caddie had a chat about what I’m doing wrong. We spent about an hour and a half on the putting green yesterday and I managed to get a good feel for it.”

Trevor likes playing at home in South Africa;

“I got into a nice steady run with four birdies in a row on the front nine, which was my back nine, unfortunately I dropped one at the last, but I can’t complain too much with seven under. The course is pretty soft after all the rain we’ve had and it depends on what happens this afternoon, but if you drive it well then you’ll have a lot of looks at birdie. My game feels in good shape coming off the back of a good result in South Africa a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know what it is, I just enjoy playing down here and I seem to play quite well.”

Ross Fisher and four more South Africans, Erik Van Rooyen, Jared Harvey, Darren Fichardt and Danie van Tonder are tied in third position, all on -6 under par under. Darren and Danie have yet to complete their first rounds.