By Michael Vlismas
Charl Schwartzel claimed one of the biggest victory margins of his career when he won the Tshwane Open by eight shots at Pretoria Country Club on Sunday.
The former Masters champion signed for a 63 and a total of 16 under par 264, with Denmark’s Jeff Winther taking second place on eight under after a 64.
South Africa’s Anthony Michael finished in third place on six under.
Pretoria’s Zander Lombard, who was in the final group with Schwartzel, had a tough closing round as he struggled to a 74 and a share of seventh place on four under par.
This is Schwartzel’s second European Tour victory this season following his victory in November’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, which forms part of the Tour’s 2016 season.
“This is what I was hoping for the first three rounds. I gave myself so many chances and if I had the putting stroke then that I did today then it would’ve probably been my best tournament ever,” said Schwartzel.
In 2012 Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by 12 strokes, and the week before that won the Thailand Golf Championship by 11 strokes.
“I had a good feeling about the final round and from the word go I made a few good putts. It’s nice to put everything together like I did today.”
Schwartzel was in control from the start. He turned four shots clear of the field when he made two birdies and an eagle in four holes on the front nine.
But it was two huge putts on the par-threes on the back nine that really sealed the win for him. On the 14th he rolled in a 40-footer for birdie, and then on the 16th he made a 30-footer for birdie.
“I’ve got such a good feeling about this year, and everything is falling into place. I’m excited,” said Schwartzel, who now focuses on his PGA Tour season.