Tshwane Open   

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Charl SchwartzelCharl Schwartzel claimed one of the biggest victory margins of his career when he won the 2016 Tshwane Open by eight shots at Pretoria Country Club.

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 putt 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.

More than just golf

The Tshwane Open is the final European Tour event played in South Africa this summer and one of the richest on the Sunshine Tour.

 The City of Tshwane uses the prestigious event to showcase the city to the world, as well as to encourage young golfers. “From the very start of the Tshwane Open our aim was to not only showcase our city to a greater international audience and promote our tourism potential, but to also be a source of inspiration for the youth of this city,” said the Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

“We want our youth to be able to aspire to what these young golfers are achieving, and their success of late could be the spark many of our young golfers need to also go on to greater things one day.”

The Tshwane Open has also been progressive in terms of its theme, “It’s more than just golf”, running a highly successful Night Market at the tournament for the second time – spreading the tournament beyond traditional golf fans.