Alfred Dunhill Championship 2013: Daily Leaderboard Analysis and Scores Updates
Although the New Year hasn't quite hit yet, the Alfred Dunhill Championship is actually the second tournament on the European Tour's 2014 schedule.
With the Race to Dubai won by superstar Henrik Stenson, the dawn of a new season gives less heralded players an opportunity to get off to a great start. Morten Orum Madsen did just that by winning his first European Tour event at the South African Open last week.
The 25-year-old Dane is in the field in this event at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.
Past Masters winner Charl Schwartzel headlines the native standouts as the defending champion, as he won last year by a whopping 12 shots.
Among Schwartzel's other compatriots teeing it up are recent Presidents Cup rookie Richard Sterne, Jbe Kruger, Hennie Otto and George Coetzee, but anyone can rise to the top in a wide-open tournament such as this one.
Read on to find out how the tournament progresses throughout the four rounds and for an updated look at the golfers atop the leaderboard.
Course Stats: Par 72, 7287 yards
Purse: €1.5 million
Final Alfred Dunhill Championship 2013 Leaderboard
CARLSSON, Magnus A
Note: Statistics and leaderboard information are courtesy of EuropeanTour.com
Day 1 Recap
Is Morten Orum Madsen among the next young stars in the making?
It may be a bit premature and hyperbolic to make that assertion—a fellow Dane in Thorbjorn Olesen has gained further notice to date—but Madsen's start to the 2014 Race to Dubai has been nothing short of sensational.
Madsen fired a seven-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over South African Allan Versfeld and Ricardo Santos on Thursday, keeping the momentum of his previous triumph going at Leopard Creek.
While hitting 15-of-18 greens in regulation helped his cause, it was how well Madsen used the flat iron that got the job done on this day. He needed only 26 putts for the round, and if he keeps putting like that and putting on this type of ball-striking display, Madsen could win far more tournaments in the future.
A win in Malelane would vault Madsen even further up in the world rankings, where he stands at No. 121 at the moment, far above the 243rd slot he had before last week's breakthrough.
Versfeld did not drop a single shot and began at No. 10, eagled the par-five 13th and made three consecutive birdies right after the turn at Nos. 1 through 3, adding another at the par-four sixth for a 66.
After holding the 54-hole lead last week and costing himself a victory with a couple of big numbers in the final round, Charl Schwartzel came out of the gates firing at flagsticks and pouring in putts.
Schwartzel began on the 10th hole and birdied five of his first six to quickly ascend to minus-five. Even a bogey at the par-four 17th still allowed him to go out in four-under 33.
However, a double bogey at No. 1 just after the turn dropped him back. Though he did recover with a birdie at the par-five second and made another coming in to polish off a round of 68, he will still be disappointed at the critical error that cost him a shot at getting closer to Madsen.
Another South African maintaining his strong play from the previous event is Hennie Otto.
The 37-year-old veteran recorded a joint runner-up finish this past Sunday, and finds himself in a cluster of golfers at three under. Otto capped his round in style with an eagle at the par-five 18th.
Day 2 Recap
Morten Orum Madsen wasn't able to match his first-round 65, but fired a 1-under 71 to keep himself atop the leaderboard after Day 2. He's joined at 8-under par by Charl Schwartzel, who posted a second straight 68 to continue his recent run of strong play.
Schwartzel's presence in first place doesn't come as a surprise. He's enjoyed tremendous success at this event in recent years, finishing inside the top two six times in the past nine years. That includes victories in 2004 and 2012.
The best scores of the second round were a pair of 7-under 65s from Ross Fisher and Soren Hansen. They also posted the same round (72) on the opening day and will head into the weekend tied for third pace, one stroke of the pace.
Most of the notable players made the cut. A couple of the exceptions were 2008 champion Richard Sterne, George Coetzee and John Daly, who makes the list based on name recognition more than his play on the course over the past handful of years.
Outside of the aforementioned top four, the players most capable of making a run to the title include Romain Wattel, Danny Willett and Sihwan Kim. All three golfers are at 5-under par through two rounds, well within striking distance if they play well over the weekend.
That said, it would be hard to pick against Schwartzel at this point given his success in the event and his solid play over the first two rounds. Madsen and Fisher should be his biggest competition.
Day 3 Recap
A final-round collapse at last week's South African Open prevented Charl Schwartzel from winning the title on his home turf. Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen was the beneficiary. The script was flipped in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Saturday, however, as Schwartzel now has a shot at redemption.
Madsen entered the third round tied for the lead at eight-under par for the tournament, but things didn't go his way on Saturday. The Danish golfer was all over the place, resulting in a round of seven-over par, which puts him in a tie for 34th place at one-under par overall.
Schwartzel, on the other hand, rose to the occasion. Schwartzel was the co-leader ahead of the third round, and he managed to separate himself from the field. Madsen's meltdown certainly helped, but Schwartzel shot a five-under 67, which put him at 13-under for the tournament.
Schwartzel holds a two-shot lead over Richard Finch, who also carded a five-under round. Victor Riu, Romain Wattel and Soren Hansen round out the top five.
The biggest mover of the day was Spain's Carlos Del Moral. He entered the third round at even par, but he shot the best round of the day with a six-under 66. Despite the strong showing, Del Moral is still seven shots behind Schwartzel, so he'll need another great round on Sunday as well as a poor one from Schwartzel to get into the winning conversation.
After falling short in his bid to win at home last week, there is no doubt that Schwartzel is determined to take the Alfred Dunhill title at Leopard Creek Golf Club in Malalane, Mpumalanga, South Africa.
If his play on Sunday resembles anything close to what he did on Saturday, Schwartzel stands a great chance of coming away victorious.
Day 4 Recap
Charl Schwartzel has won the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The 29-year-old star took home the championship at Leopard Creek in his native South Africa, finishing the tournament with a stunning 17-under-par score.
This was the third championship at the Alfred Dunhill Championship for Schwartzel, as the 2011 Masters winner won last year and back in 2004.
Schwartzel had a significant edge heading into the final round and was able to post yet another 68 after 18 holes—his third of the tournament. His consistent play was what separated him from the rest of the field and a large reason why he was able to defend his title in this event.
Schwartzel's victory here helps atone for his collapse at the 2013 South African Open. He notably faltered in the final round and allowed Morten Orum Madsen to steal the glory at Glendower Country Club.
The champion would not come up short again and left no doubt about who the best golfer in the field was on Sunday.
The next closest competitor, Richard Finch, finished the tournament 13-under—a testament to the victor’s brilliance over the past four days.
There was a three-way tie for third place in this event, with Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher and Romain Wattel all posting a 10-under par.
Andrea Pavan posted the high score of Round 4 with a seven-under, but only managed to finish six-under on the tourney.
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