Thursday, 28 November 2013
Charl Schwartzel  (Getty Images)
Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel swiftly moved into the lead once more as the Alfred Dunhill Championship began at Leopard Creek.

Schwartzel won his first European Tour title at Leopard Creek in 2005 and triumphed by 12 shots last year, just a week after winning the Thailand Open by 11 strokes.

The former Masters Tournament champion has also finished second four times in what he unsurprisingly describes as his favourite event, one in which he was a cumulative 81 under par before starting his opening round.

That total soon improved as Schwartzel started from the tenth with five birdies in his opening six holes, before a bogey on the 17th saw him reach the turn in 33.

A double bogey on the first then dropped him back to two under par.

The World Number 21 responded quickly, holing from 12 feet for a birdie on the second to get back to three under par.

That was good enough for a share of the lead as the early starters battled a blustery wind, with fellow South Africa James Kingston, Spain's Pablo Martin Benavides, Ireland's Damien McGrane and France's Victor Riu all on three under.

Schwartzel's round stalled with a run of four straight pars and another looked likely on the par three seventh, only for the 29 year old to hole from around 50 feet from just off the green.

That took him to four under par and one shot behind leader Riu, who had picked up birdies on the tenth and 14th.

Martin, the 2010 and 2011 winner, had set the clubhouse target on two under, but McGrane had to settle for a level par 72 after running up a triple-bogey seven on the ninth, his final hole.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2FINCH, RichardENG18-13
T3DYSON, SimonENG18-10
T3FISHER, RossENG18-10
T3WATTEL, RomainFRA18-10
6HANSEN, SorenDEN18-9

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