Date: April 30, 2007

Tampion finishes well back

Young South African Charl Schwartzel won a test of endurance as well as skill to become Spanish Open champion in Madrid, with Australian Andrew Tampion eight shots off the pace. After three days interrupted by rain, all the leaders at Centro Nacional had to play the bulk of their third rounds as well as the closing 18 holes on the final day. And a 15-foot eagle putt on the long 16th proved decisive as the 22-year-old from Johannesburg captured his second European Tour title by one shot from Indian Jyoti Randhawa. Schwartzel shot rounds of 68 and 67 to take the A$544,714 first prize with a 16-under-par total of 272 – and then paid tribute to the man at his side. Caddying for him for only the third time was Ernie Els&apos former bag-man Ricci Roberts and Schwartzel said: “He has helped quite a lot – he is very confident and that gives me a little edge.” “It feels good. People said I&aposd won on the European Tour before but in South Africa (the 2005 Dunhill Championship), but I said I could do it in Europe too and it was just a matter of time before it all clicks in.” “The three shots on the 16th were probably the three best I hit all week. It&aposs not a tee shot to laugh at with water all down the left, but I hit it perfectly and then had the perfect three-iron yardage.” Tampion shot a final-round 69 to finish at eight-under, with Terry Pilkadaris scoring 72 to finish level with the card. Marcus Fraser (73) and Terry Price (74) were well back. It was a nervy finish to both rounds for the South African, though. He double-bogeyed the 18th on his first visit of the day and when returning there with a two-shot lead was twice in rough, but escaped with a bogey that proved good enough when Spaniard Carlos Rodiles, needing a birdie to tie, found heavy rough left of the green and bogeyed. “It was a good thing I could have some lunch after that double – I was steaming,” added Schwartzel. “It was only 20 minutes before we had to tee off again, but it gave me time to cool down.” For Randhawa, who had set the target of 15-under with a closing 67 of his own, it was a fourth runners-up finish – but he has tasted victory seven times in Asia. Randhawa, whose wife gave up her Bollywood film career to spend more time with him, became a father for the first time earlier this month and was hoping to complete a remarkable recovery. He was five-over after 13 holes of the first round and yet led by two with four to play. As he bogeyed the 15th, however, Schwartzel birdied the 13th and then it all swung round on the 16th, where Randhawa only parred. Rodiles was left to regret not only his closing bogey, but also a missed eagle chance from only six feet at the 16th after a glorious second shot. He had been three clear as he started the final round, but managed only a level-par 72. Joint fourth were English pair Simon Dyson and Mark Foster. Schwartzel&aposs win will take him into the top 50 and could mean a place for him in the Players Championship in Florida. Final scores from the Spanish Open in Madrid -16: Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 69 68 68 67 -15: Jyoti Randhawa (India) 75 65 66 67 -14: Carlos Rodiles (Spain) 70 66 66 72 -13: Simon Dyson (England) 69 69 66 71, Mark Foster (England) 68 69 70 68 -12: Andres Romero (Argentina) 70 71 69 66, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Sweden) 68 71 69 68 -11: Tom Whitehouse (England) 71 71 67 68, Alastair Forsyth (England) 68 74 66 69, Stephen Gallacher (England) 71 68 69 69, Nick Dougherty (England) 66 71 70 70, Gregory Bourdy (France) 67 69 71 70, Stuart Little (England) 67 69 70 71 Also: -8: Andrew Tampion (Australia) 74 67 70 69 E: Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 69 74 73 72 +1: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 69 70 77 73 +4: Terry Price (Australia) 70 70 78 74