Schwartzel looks to forget one that got away as he mounts Alfred Dunhill Championship defence
Charl Schwartzel acknowledges the crowd during the third round of last week’s South African Open at Glendower GC. Schwartzel fell away in the final round after leading, but is hoping to put that disappointment behind him as he defends his Alfred Dunhill Championship title at Leopard Creek. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel could not be in a better place as he looks to forget the one that got away by defending his Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
Schwartzel looked set to win the South African Open last week when he held a three-shot lead early in the final round, but dumped his tee shot on the sixth into water short of the green to run up a triple-bogey six.
The South African also took a double bogey on the 10th as his hopes of winning his home Open for the first time evaporated, although three birdies in the last eight holes at least saw him finish joint fourth at Glendower Golf Club.
The world number 21 has the opportunity to make amends at one of his favourite venues this week, having won his first European Tour title at Leopard Creek in 2005 and triumphing by 12 shots last year, just a week after winning the Thailand Open by 11 strokes.
“I have great memories from last year, I played probably some of the best golf I have ever played in my life,” Schwartzel told a pre-tournament press conference.
“I’ve always had very good success round here, it’s one of my favourite, if not my favourite golf course.
“What happened last week, if I had to analyse it, I thought I played well for 70 holes of that tournament. Everything pretty much went according to how I wanted it to go but I hit one bad shot on the sixth and made a triple bogey and then hit a big piece of steel that was under the ground on the 10th hole and that led to a double bogey.
“If it wasn’t for those two holes, I don’t want to say I would have won, but I would have had a very good chance of winning. I played good enough golf to have won that tournament and if I can bring that over to this week, a course that I like, there is no reason why I can’t repeat this week.”