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Golf | SA

Charl Schwartzel © Gallo Images

Golf trio fly SA flag

South African golfers produced the goods at the weekend as Charl Schwartzel finished third at the HP Byron Nelson Championship USPGA Tour event, while the pair of Branden Grace and Thomas Aiken made it to the last four of the Volvo World Match Play on Sunday.

Schwartzel fired a final round 68 for a 10 under 270 total, ending two shots behind Korean winner Sang-Moon Bae at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas.

Schwartzel was first in greens in regulation for the week, but his putter misbehaved throughout the four days.

"It was really good playing," said Schwartzel after his round.

"The whole day I thought I kept it close, starting in the back nine, I felt like I should have had five birdies in a row down there.

"The putter really let me down most of the week. I played well on Thursday but after that it was a struggle with the putter."

Grace and Aiken lost in the semifinals of the Match Play at Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort in Kavama, Bulgaria.

Aiken lost to Thai Thongchai Jaidee by a 3&2 margin, and said his opponent was just too good on the day.

"He just didn't make any mistakes today," said Aiken.

"He sunk every putt that was makeable, and you know, every time I tried to come back, he halved the hole with a birdie."

Grace lost by the same margin to eventual winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and said he was pleased with his play despite the loss.

"I did play well," said Grace.

"Obviously we both missed a lot of stuff out there. Even though he was eight under, there was a couple more putts he could have made and a couple more putts I could have made.

"He was just the better player on the day."

Grace said the matchplay format did not work in his favour on the final day.

"Maybe on Sunday if you're tied for the lead, five under was good enough. On a day like today, you can either play bad and win or play good and lose," he said.

"It's one of those days, and that's match play."


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