Attie on track for ERPM success

A fortnight ago Attie Schwartzel finished in a share of third at Big Easy Tour Kempton Park, and he will be rearing to compete in the fifth Big Easy installment of 2012 at ERPM Golf Club on Thursday.

He knows he can go low around the course after finishing in a five-way tie for the lead at last year’s ERPM tournament, which Thabang Simon eventually won in a playoff.

Schwartzel turned in 32 during the first day at ERPM last year and went on to shoot an impressive 67. His second round was a slower affair, and the Maccauvlei Country Club professional had to birdie the 17th to finish level-par for the day and join the five-way playoff.

A poor tee-shot during the first playoff hole proved to be the 24-year-old’s undoing, and he only made the green in three. Simon produced a timeous birdie for the win.

Schwartzel took four top-10s on the Big Easy Tour last year, including two ties for second. The next step is to head for victory, and the Magaliesig local will have his eye on top honours this week.

His latest result, tied third at Kempton Park a fortnight ago, will have boosted his confidence. He put two solid rounds together, backing up his opening 67 with a second-round 68 to reach a nine-under total.

ERPM is a classic Parklands course and keeping it straight off the tee will be crucial for success. The trees around the course wreaked havoc on several player’s rounds, including last year’s overnight leader Albert Pistorius, who slipped to fifth by the end of his second 18.

Schwartzel knows the course and carries good form to the R100,000 event. He will surely focus on winning this week – it remains the last step for him to take in his Big Easy Tour career.

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