Thursday, February 04, 2010

Schwartzel named Golfer of the Month for January

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel has been named as The European Tour Golfer of the Month for January after beginning 2010 in spectacular fashion by recording back-to-back victories in his homeland. Schwartzel, who receives a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne and an engraved alms dish in recognition of his achievements, leapt to the top of The Race to Dubai Rankings by capturing the Africa Open in the second week of January and followed by that with success in the Joburg Open seven days later. The 25 year old finished one shot ahead of fellow countryman Thomas Aitken in the Africa Open with a 20 under par total of 272 at East London Golf Club, then returned to his home town of Johannesburg to claim the Joburg Open with a 23 under par score of 261 on this occasion. With a combined total of 43 under par for those two events, Schwartzel became the fourth South African golfer to win consecutive European Tour tournaments following in the footsteps of Ernie Els, Dale Hayes and Richard Sterne. Schwartzel, who saw off stiff competition from Germany’s Martin Kaymer, winner of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and Robert Karlsson, champion last week in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, said: “Obviously, being named as The European Tour’s Player of the Month is a nice achievement to have. I am very pleased with the award, since you can never have enough trophies!” Following an opening round of 68 to share the early lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club today, Schwartzel added: “I couldn’t have asked for a much better start to 2010. At the end of last year I felt like I was starting to play really well but it just wasn’t happening for me. Then I came out after Christmas and all of a sudden things started happening.”

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