Charl sharp ahead of Dunhill Links

pCharl Schwartzel faces a serious challenge at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but his recent good form should help him to tackle the $5-million tournament.

Vereeniging’s finest golfer played well at the Porsche European Open a week ago, where he led at the halfway mark after shooting two consecutive rounds of 66.

He faltered on day three at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach last week, but went on to card 68 on Sunday to share 19th place, which set him at 23rd in the Race to Dubai ahead of his week in Scotland.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is a unique tournament that plays out across Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, and The Old Course at St. Andrews.

Mental strength will play a vital role in Schwartzel’s bid for the title, so he’ll need to remain calm and allow his sweet ball striking to do the work. There will be some bad bounces on links tracks such as these and the 2011 Masters champ has to keep a cool head when things go wrong.

Staying in the moment is something Schwartzel has proven to be good at, even at the highest level. At Augusta in 2011 he birdied the final four holes to claim the right to wear the green jacket, and since then he has been a player to watch out for.

This year marks the 12th time he’ll play the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where he tied for seventh in 2013 and ninth in 2011. It’s been a hot-and-cold tournament for the 31-year-old, who tied for 66th place in 2012 and missed the cut both last year and in 2009.

A wealth of fellow South Africans are in the field this week, with former champ Branden Grace headlining the local showing.

Schwartzel will look to lead his countrymen once the tournament gets going, and he’s in the right space to achieve that goal.

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