Schwartzel continues form at PGA

2011-05-16 09:02

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel put together a final round four-under-par 68 to vault him to a share of 26th place in the Players’ Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida yesterday.

Schwartzel’s four-round total of six-under-par 282 was seven shots behind KJ Choi of South Korea and David Toms of the US.

Choi and Toms duelled in a sudden death playoff with the Korean winning on the first playoff hole.

Schwartzel, who flew straight to the Malaysian Open after donning the green jacket at Augusta in April, then took a two-week break back at his home course, Maccauvlei Golf Club in Vereeniging, before jetting back to the US for the tournament regarded as “the fifth Major”.

The 26-year-old, who in 2007 was ranked 83rd in the world, is now 12th and South Africa’s highest ranked player. He trails 14-time major winner and struggling former world No 1 Tiger Woods by only four positions.

Rory Sabbatini was the top-placed South African after three rounds in Florida, on seven under par, but got his final round off to a bad start.

He opened with bogey, bogey, double-bogey to end any chance he had of winning the tournament.

The fiery Sabbatini, who was involved in a heated argument with American Sean O’Hair in New Orleans last month, rallied on the back nine to pick up four birdies with a solitary bogey, shooting a 73 and joining Schwartzel in a tie for 26th.

Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman finished a shot behind in a tie for 34th.

Defending champion Tim Clark, who presented the trophy to Choi, was unable to finish two rounds due to an elbow injury.

He withdrew after the tendonitis in his right elbow became unbearable after 10 holes in his second round.

Clark picked up the injury shortly after the Sony Open where he finished second in January.

On the European Tour, Thomas Aiken followed up his victory last week with a tie for ninth on level par for the four rounds in the Iberdrola Open in Mallorca.

The South African was six shots behind winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.

Aiken fired a final round two-over-par 72 in windy conditions.

The seven-time Sunshine Tour winner had a chance of making a charge until a double bogey on the par four 11th ended his challenge.

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