Charl Schwartzel eases to eight-shot victory at Tshwane Open
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 14/02/16 4:20pm
Charl Schwartzel lived up to his tag as pre-tournament favourite by cruising to victory on home soil at the Tshwane Open.
The world No 43 posted seven birdies and an eagle on his way to a seven-under 63 at Pretoria Country Club to finish eight clear of Denmark's Jeff Winther.
"I played well the whole week, today was a bit iffy at stages, but the difference was I putted really well," Schwartzel said. "I spent a lot of hours on the practice greens in the last few days and it was a good time to find something."
Taking a one-shot lead in to the final round, Schwartzel extended his overnight advantage by holing a 20-footer at the second but dropped a shot at the next after his wayward drive ended up behind a tree.
Back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh were followed by an eagle at the par-five ninth to give the South African a four-shot advantage at the turn, as nearest challenger Zander Lombard slipped away with two bogeys and two double-bogeys along the back nine.
A wild tee shot at the 11th saw Schwartzel drop his second shot of the day, but the former Masters champion bounced back with a tap-in birdie at the next after a smart chip from short of the green.
Schwartzel moved further ahead when he sunk a 40-foot birdie at the 14th as Lombard missed his par save, before two more gains over the final three holes gave the South African his second win in three starts.
Five birdies in a seven-hole stretch along the front nine helped Jeff Winther to a six-under 64 and second spot, with Dean Burmester a further stroke back after three consecutive bogeys along the closing stretch.