Charl Schwartzel has won the Madrid Masters, his third European Tour victory. The 24-year-old, South African fired consecutive rounds of 66 over the last two days to finish three shots clear of Ricardo Gonzalez.
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Schwartzel had been feeling unwell all week and had been struggling with a shoulder injury, but he showed no signs of those malaises as he notched up an impressive final total of 19 under par.
Schwartzel began the last day one shot ahead of Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez who posted an electrifying 62 - including a back nine of 27 - on day three. But, the youngster from Johannesburg made birdies at the fourth, seventh, 13th and 14th holes with no dropped shots to open a healthy lead over the chasing pack. He then sealed victory with a birdie two at the par three 17th.
"I played very well again today," Schwartzel said. "I woke up this morning and felt a lot better than I have been feeling. I thought I grinded it out nicely all week. I just managed to keep it going today."
Rounds of the day went to Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and Robert Rock of England, both recorded closing 64s. For Rock it was a vital step towards retaining his playing privileges for 2009. He finished in a tie for fourth and earned €46,000 moving him to 112th on the Order of Merit. The top 115 keep their card.
"I'm absolutely happy with how I've done. My goal for the week was to finish in the top ten and it's great.” He said. “I have to check if I've secured my card. Next week is also important but if I play half decent, I'll get it done."
1 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 69 64 66 66 265 €166,660 2 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 69 69 62 68 268 €111,110 3 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 68 72 62 67 269 €62,600 T4 Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 74 66 66 64 270 €46,200 T4 Robert Rock (Eng) 70 65 71 64 270 €46,200 6 Paul Waring (Eng) 69 67 67 69 272 €35,000 7 Carlos Del Moral (Esp) 69 67 67 70 273 €30,000 T8 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 69 69 67 69 274 €23,700 T8 Damien McGrane (Ire) 69 68 68 69 274 €23,700 T10 Jesus Maria Arruti (Esp) 72 67 70 66 275 €18,533 T10 Rafael Cabrera Bello (Esp) 74 68 66 67 275 €18,533 T10 Ignacio Garrido (Esp) 70 68 67 70 275 €18,533
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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