Charl hunting Leopard Creek hat trick

Charl Schwartzel will attempt to become the sixth player in European Tour history to win the same tournament three consecutive times when he tees up in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday.

If he succeeds the 2011 Masters champion will join an elite list that incorporates Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.

Schwartzel will also be the first player to achieve the feat in this decade.

“It would be nice to win three in a row, but my expectations are not too high. It would be a good feat to accomplish, but I’m a long way from that at the moment. It’s great to be back at Leopard Creek and this place does seem to do something to my game, so I’m really hoping that’s the case once again,” he said.

Vereeniging’s finest golfer first won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2004. He was 20 at the time and still sported braces on his teeth, totally unaware that he was just beginning an incredible relationship with Leopard Creek Country Club, host of this week’s tournament.

“I have a look at those photos from 2004. Those are great memories. The tournament has been really good to me. That was my first win, my breakthrough win. Those are the sort of ones that you’ll never forget. There’s something about the place that every time I come back, even if I’m playing badly, it seems to treat me really well,” he said.

By 2012 the big-smiling youngster had become a recognised force in world golf. He dominated the Alfred Dunhill Championship that year and carded 64 on both the Friday and Saturday and left the field to play for second place. He finished the week on 24-under-par, with Kristoffer Broberg finishing in the runner up position some 12 shots back.

Schwartzel’s title defence in 2013 was an indomitable performance that included zero bogeys over his last 54 holes. He closed out the week on 17-under-par and won by four shots.

This year the 30-year-old has not been too confident with his game, but the birth of his daughter has given him some perspective when it comes to the important things.

“Becoming a dad this year has been unbelievable. Golfing-wise it hasn’t been a great year, but in my personal life things have been fantastic. I’d like it to happen for me in the tournament this week, but if it doesn’t I’m still in a fantastic place,” he said.

 

Charl hunting Leopard Creek hat trick

Charl Schwartzel will attempt to become the sixth player in European Tour history to win the same tournament three consecutive times when he tees up in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday.

 

If he succeeds the 2011 Masters champion will join an elite list that incorporates Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.

 

Schwartzel will also be the first player to achieve the feat in this decade.

 

“It would be nice to win three in a row, but my expectations are not too high. It would be a good feat to accomplish, but I’m a long way from that at the moment. It’s great to be back at Leopard Creek and this place does seem to do something to my game, so I’m really hoping that’s the case once again,” he said.

 

Vereeniging’s finest golfer first won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2004. He was 20 at the time and still sported braces on his teeth, totally unaware that he was just beginning an incredible relationship with Leopard Creek Country Club, host of this week’s tournament.

 

“I have a look at those photos from 2004. Those are great memories. The tournament has been really good to me. That was my first win, my breakthrough win. Those are the sort of ones that you’ll never forget. There’s something about the place that every time I come back, even if I’m playing badly, it seems to treat me really well,” he said.

 

By 2012 the big-smiling youngster had become a recognised force in world golf. He dominated the Alfred Dunhill Championship that year and carded 64 on both the Friday and Saturday and left the field to play for second place. He finished the week on 24-under-par, with Kristoffer Broberg finishing in the runner up position some 12 shots back.

 

Schwartzel’s title defence in 2013 was an indomitable performance that included zero bogeys over his last 54 holes. He closed out the week on 17-under-par and won by four shots.

 

This year the 30-year-old has not been too confident with his game, but the birth of his daughter has given him some perspective when it comes to the important things.

 

“Becoming a dad this year has been unbelievable. Golfing-wise it hasn’t been a great year, but in my personal life things have been fantastic. I’d like it to happen for me in the tournament this week, but if it doesn’t I’m still in a fantastic place,” he said.

 

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