Former Masters Champion Schwartzel Wins Valspar Championship.
Former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel won the Valspar Championship on Sunday evening after defeating Bill Haas in a play-off. Schwartzel shot a superb closing round of 67 on his way to his first PGA Tour victory for almost five years in Palm Harbour, Florida.
The South African was two shots behind Haas during the closing stages but a later flurry of birdies and a bogey on the 16th from his closest challenger saw both men finish on seven-under-par. Schwartzel then proceeded to make a solid par four on the first extra playoff hole, which Haas was unable to match after missing the fairway and finding the greenside bunker.
The win is Schwartzel’s 15th in his professional career but it was only the second on the PGA Tour and the first since his memorable major victory at the Augusta National Golf Club back in 2011. The 31-year-old admitted that it had been a tough weekend and that it was “everyone’s goal” just to “keep bogeys off the card”.
The leading duo ended two shots clear of third placed Ryan Moore (-5) and three clear of US amateur Lee McCoy (-4), who would earned a staggering $292,800 had he been a pro. McCoy posted a classy 69 as he outgunned fellow young hotshot Jordan Spieth on the final day. The current US Masters champion had to settle for a level par score.
It was another solid week for England’s Danny Willett (+1), while Luke Donald (+1) showed glimpses of his best form on Saturday and Sunday. Fellow compatriot Ian Poulter had a weekend to forget as he posted back to back 75s, which was only enough for a tied 67th finish. Poulter is now set to miss the Dell Match Play event as he has now dropped to 67th in the world rankings, while only the top 64 qualify.