Charl Schwartzel played sharp golf to claim second at the Thailand Golf Championship, but an impeccable Lee Westwood won by seven strokes on Sunday.
Schwartzel carded a sluggish 72 to close the event at 15-under-par, one stroke clear of American Michael Thompson, who finished third in the $1-million tournament at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok.
ÂI pulled him (Westwood) back to within three shots after 11 holes. It felt pretty good especially against a player like Lee Â all credit to him. It was getting close and I gave it a go Â IÂm happy with my performance. If it wasnÂt for Lee, I would probably have won the tournament,Â said Schwartzel.
The 28-year-old began with a birdie at the 1st, but struggled to find his rhythm and made consecutive pars until the 9th, where he dropped a shot and turned in 36 blows.
Tension built when Schwartzel followed an eagle at 11 with a birdie at 12 and brought Westwood within firing range. But the Blair Atholl Country Club professional struggled at the 14th and made bogey, which strained his chances for victory.
He went on to drop at 17 and 18 before the closing the day at level-par and finishing seven strokes off WestwoodÂs indomitable pace.
The Englishman paved his way to victory with an impeccable 12-under-par opening round, but remained driven Â by the close of 36 holes had moved to 20-under-par.
Jbe Kruger opened with a decent 69, but failed to card below par for the remainder of the event and closed in a share of 39th.
While Westwood tore apart the Thai golf course, Schwartzel closed the season on a high note and heads for the Africa Open on a run of good form.
ÂThis means a lot and gives me a lot of confidence. IÂve been working hard during these for the past four or five weeks and it was time to hole some putts under pressure,Â he said.