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Schwartzel the Favourite as Oosthuizen Stumbles in Round One

Charl Schwartzel didn’t take the lead on Friday, but did enough in his opening round 70 to be anointed the favourite as he looks to round two at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Schwartzel sits four shots back of leader Anthony Michael and if he can go a shot or two lower on Friday he’ll  be right in the thick of it in round two.

The 26-year old needs to improve his ball striking on Friday as he hit just 13 of 18 greens in the opening round and, as a result, wasn’t able to take advantage of the short par-4’s at the Hyatt Regency Coolum golf course.

The bookmakers still have confidence in the world’s 39th ranked player as he tees off round two as the betting favourite at (5-1).

The books’ second choice is European Tour veteran Robert Rock who sits one back of Michael’s lead after opening with a 67.

Rock didn’t make a bogie in a quality opening round that saw him make 5 birdies.  The round could have been even better had the Englishman not made par on all of Leopard Creek Country Club’s par-5’s.

Rock has been struggling lately missing 3 of his last 5 cuts of the 2010 season, so it may be time for him to break out of the funk.

The bookmakers like him enough to put him just behind Schwartzel at (6-1).

Surprisingly, third on the betting board is lowly ranked Spaniard Alvaro Velasco who opened with a 68 on Friday.

He’s ranked 215th in the world.  However, he did have a strong finish to his 2010 European Challenge Tour season with three top-25’s in his last five events.

Many believe the 29-year old could be a star in the making and it seems the bookmakers have faith in the young man from Barcelona as he heads to round two at (12-1).

The real surprise of the first round was the poor play of reigning Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

Oosthuizen was hitting it all over the 7249 yard track in Malelane as he made 3 bogies and 2 double bogies posting an opening round 76.

His round was bad, but the fact he was three over on the par-5’s made it even more disgraceful.

The books don’t seem to expect a run from the current holder of the Claret Jug as they’ve got him at (80-1).


The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight  - Ben Hogan

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