Schwartzel in command at Thailand Champs

Last updated 09:45 09/12/2012
charl schwartzel
Getty Images
HOT FORM: Charl Schwartzel

Relevant offers

Golf

Lydia Ko plays the tourist while No 1 ranking goes on the line Tiger Woods feeling no back pain after surgery, wants to compete again - in time Lydia Ko, USGA want focus on Women's Open golf, not Donald Trump's course Danny Lee shoots up FedEx Cup standings with first top 10 Billy Horschel's wife Brittany reveals battle with alcoholism Lydia Ko maintains No 1 world ranking despite poor finish in Virginia Sam Jones saves his longest drives until last at North Island champs Jason Day surges into title hunt in Texas Lydia Ko set to hold onto No 1 ranking after steady third round NZ's Lydia Ko tied for third at halfway stage of LPGA's Kingsmill Championship

Charl Schwartzel dropped his first bogey of the week but it would probably require a spectacular final round meltdown to deny the South African his maiden Thailand Golf Championship title.

The ninth-hole bogey was the lone blot in Schwartzel's penultimate round of four-under-par 68 as the 2011 Masters winner, last year's runner-up here, raced five shots clear off Indian-born Swede Daniel Chopra at 18-under-par 198.

Chopra overcame a double bogey and battled to a 69 while local hope Thitiphun Chuayprakong scrambled to a 71 for third place further one shot back.

"It's a game of patience and I just have to go out there to play. If it's my time, it's my time," said Schwartzel, who is hoping to emulate Lee Westwood's wire-to-wire victory last year.

Schwartzel dropped his first shot of the week after finding the fairway trap on the demanding ninth hole but recovered with a terrific eagle, firing a five-iron into the 12th hole and sinking the 12-foot putt. He then rolled in a 10-foot curler on 14.

"I'm playing well. It's been a good few weeks as I'm pretty much in control of my golf swing. I can't ask for more than that," added the South African chasing his maiden Asian Tour victory.

Chopra dropped a double bogey on the par-five seventh hole to fall back but promised to give his best when he returns on Sunday.

"Obviously my goal is to go out and try to make it uncomfortable for Charl. Nobody wants to see him run away with it. I want to do my absolute best to make it close down the stretch," said the two-times winner on the PGA Tour.

Sergio Garcia sank two closing birdies in his round of 68 to lie eight shots off lead, a gap he thought too big to bridge.

"He played great last year and is doing great again," the Spaniard said of Schwartzel.

"He obviously likes the course. I like the course too but there are a couple of holes where I feel a little bit uncomfortable," Garcia said.

Westwood and Masters champion Bubba Watson shot 70 and 71 respectively for tied seventh place on 209. 

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content