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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 14, 2010

South Africans Schwartzel, Els tied in Doral


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Charl Schwartzel

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DORAL, Fla. Charl Schwartzel finally has a chance to show off his game on a world stage. The next step is to take on Ernie Els, a familiar face from his native South Africa.

Schwartzel ran off four birdies in the opening six holes to catch up, then stayed in the game with three big par putts on the back nine for a 5-under 67 at Doral yesterday and a share of the lead with Els going into the final round of the CA Championship.

Els was in front for most of the sunny, blustery day on the Blue Monster until he started missing birdie opportunities. He settled for a 2-under 70 to join the 25-year-old Schwartzel at 12-under 204.

"I think it's a wonderful, cool story," Els said. "It's great for South African golf, obviously. He's won twice. He's a force to be reckoned with. And I think it's great. Tomorrow, we shake hands and play 18 holes as hard as we can. He's going to try and win. I'm going to try and win."

Padraig Harrington of Ireland ran off four birdies on the back nine only to have his streak of 26 holes without a bogey end with a three-putt on the 18th. He still had a 67 and was one shot behind.

Robert Allenby, somehow, remains in the mix.

The Australian missed eight putts from inside 15 feet and was falling out of contention until two late birdies allowed him to salvage a 1-under 71, leaving him only two shots behind.

ELSEWHERE

Puerto Rico Open: Chad Collins chipped in for eagle on the par-5 second hole yesterday to top the Puerto Rico Open leaderboard at 9 under before second-round play was suspended because of darkness in the rain-delayed PGA Tour event at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Collins, who has won twice on the Nationwide Tour, was 6 under through 11 holes in the second round after completing a first-round 69 in sunny conditions yesterday morning at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico.

Paul Stankowski, one of only six players to complete the second round, followed an opening 66 with a 70 and was the clubhouse leader at 8-under 136. Hawai'i's Dean Wilson, a Castle High alum, did not start his second round after completing a first-round 68. Former UH golfer Pierre-Henri Soero shot a 72 and did not start his second round.

Women's Australian Open: Four-time champion Karrie Webb shot a bogey-free 3-under 70 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead in the Women's Australian Open at Melbourne.

Webb, the Australian star coming off her seventh Australian Ladies Masters title, had a 6-under 213 total on the Commonwealth Golf Club course. Italy's Giulia Sergas, the second-round leader, bogeyed the final hole for a 75, leaving her a stroke behind Webb at 214.

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