Charl Schwartzel Wins Thailand Golf Championship

By Les Bailey
Charl Schwartzel
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long drought for 2011 Masters Champion, Charl Schwartzel, but victory finally came big at the Thailand Golf Championship for the 28 year old from Johannesburg, South Africa. Schwartzel lapped the field, shooting three 65’s, and a 68 for -25 under par total, an 11 stroke win over second place Bubba Watson. Charl Schwartzel has been knocking on the door for quite some time, but has not won since the Masters over 20 months ago.

The star studded field at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand included a host of  the worlds top players that included 2012 Masters Champion, Bubba Watson, 2011 Thailand Golf Champion, Lee Westwood, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia. Watson finished in a tie with homeboy, Thitiphun Chuayprakong from Thailand at -14 under par. Westwood finished tied 11th at -9 under par in a tie for 11th place. Garcia had an excellent finish with three of his rounds in the 60’s. He carded a 276 total which was good for fourth place.

The Amata Spring Country Club is a par 72 layout located about an hour out of Bangkok, and boasts the only floating green in Asia. The par three 17th signature hole is only 145 yards, but like the 17th at Ponte Vedre where the Players Championship is contested, and requires a very accurate tee shot. A boat ride to the green is the only method in which to finish the hole. Amata Spring plays to 7453 yards, and the course record -12 under par 60 was set by Lee Westwood in the first round last year on his way to a win in the tournament.

For his runaway victory in Thailand on Sunday, which was the ninth of his career, and his first on the Asian Tour, Schwartzel picked up a check for $158,000 dollars from the total purse of $1 million dollars.

Besides Bubba Watson, there were nine other players from the USA and PGA Tour competing in this world competition that included Hunter Mahan, Kevin Na and Troy Matteson. Mahan finished the tournament at -5 under par tied for 22nd place, Na only had one round in the 60’s and finished tied 36th at -2 under par. Matteson finished dead last at 15 over par. Matteson shot an 81 on Saturday.

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