October 11, 2008

Schwartzel Wins By Three Strokes

Leading since the halfway point and leaving little doubt he could close the deal, Charl Schwartzel fired a final-round five-under 66 to take the title

Schwartzel led by three at the turn and never looked back.

Schwartzel led by three at the turn and never looked back.

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- South Africa's Charl Schwartzel shot a 5-under 66 Sunday to win the Madrid Masters by three strokes over Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina.

Schwartzel, who had led since the halfway point, overcame sickness and shoulder and back pain to finish at 19-under 265 for the tournament at the Club de Campo golf course.

The 24-year-old got two early birdies to pad his overnight lead of one shot, and another three after the turn.

Schwartzel's previous European Tour victory came in last year's Spanish Open.

"I woke up this morning and felt a lot better than I have been feeling," he said. "I thought I ground it out nicely all week. I just managed to keep it going today."

Gonzalez, who shot a 62 on Saturday, posted a final-round score of 68 and finished at 16 under.

Pablo Larrazabal (67) placed third at 15 under, one better than fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros (64) and England's Robert Rock (64).