Published: Sun, December 01, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Pablo Larrazabal limps to Alfred Dunhill Championship win

Pablo Larrazabal limps to Alfred Dunhill Championship win

Spain's Pablo Larrazabal survived a badly blistered foot and "the worst golf of my career " to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Sunday.

Larrazabal's 2-under 70 in the third round put him 11 under par and kept him ahead of Wil Besseling (70).

Seeking his first European Tour win since 2015, the Spaniard carded a two-under round of 70 on Saturday.

Larrazabal, who said he struggled with blisters on his feet, had six bogeys and a double bogey until his rousing finish to capture his first European Tour victory in four years.

It was Sweden's Joel Sjoholm who had the best round of the day at Leopard Creek with a 68 and he is one of four players sitting on four under.

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Although four-time Dunhill Championship victor Charl Schwartzel of South Africa also trails Larrazabal by seven strokes, he may pose a threat to the leader.

Former Masters champion Schwartzel, a four-time victor at Leopard Creek, finished strongly after being out of tournament action since April with a wrist injury.

His 70 included five birdies and three bogeys, and a final round in conditions expected to be eight degrees celsius cooler could generate excitement if the pacesetters falter.

His fightback started with a birdie on the 11th hole, a short par four, but he dropped another shot at the par-five 13th before finishing with birdies at the par-five 15th, hard par-three 16th and the par-five 18th, where a wedged approach to the island green left him with a short birdie putt.

"We have to allow ourselves to make some mistakes but I am very happy with the way I'm playing and the way I'm approaching every single shot this week". This year's Alfred Dunhill Championship was the first-ever European Tour event to allow players to wear shorts due to the extreme heat in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, yet Larrazabal has been one of the few who has chosen to stay in long pants.

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