Charl ends drought at Leopard Creek


Charl Schwartzel ended a two-year title drought at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, where he returned to winning ways with a four-shot victory. The 2011 Masters champion was elated after shooting a Sunday 70 for a total of 15-under-par 273 at Leopard Creek Country Club, which meant victory over Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the €1,5-million tournament.

“I was battling a lot of demons out there,” said Schwartzel after he raised in arms in relief as much as in triumph when he made par on the island green on the 18th of a course where he has won four times and been runner-up on four other occasions.

The world number 35 had struggled with his form throughout 2015 but made a huge turnaround to win the penultimate event of the year.

“From playing while not seeing how I could ever win again to coming back while still fighting a lot of demons to get it done – I’m pleased to have worked hard and been able to have pulled this off,” he said.

Bourdy led a strong French contingent in Mpumalanga, where his countrymen Benjamin Hebert and Sebastien Gros finished third and  fourth, respectively.

Rourke van der Spuy shot a final-round 71 at Leopard Creek to finish in 54th place, thereby overtaking Zander Lombard in the Sunshine Tour’s Rookie of the Year Race and securing the title.