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Monday, March 14, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 Valspar Championship

Winner: Charl Schwartzel

Around the wider world of golf: Jung-Min Lee won the World Ladies Championship, as well as the team portion of the event with Jin-Young Ko, on the LET/KLPGA; and Scott Hend won the True Thailand Open on the ET.

Charl Schwartzel celebrates his victory

'Snakebit' is an overused term at the Valspar Championship, especially in regard to the Snake Pit (holes 16-18), but most players would agree it's an appropriate one. The two players most folks thought would battle it out for the title -- Bill Haas and Graham DeLaet -- both felt its fangs in Sunday's final round. Most of the other players with high finishes managed to get through the Pit in even par. Nobody seemed able to figure out the newly reseeded (and therefore much slower) greens.

Except Charl Schwartzel, that is. He squirmed through the Snake Pit at 1-under, finishing the round with an amazing 4-under 67 in tough windy conditions, then parred 18 to beat Haas in a single-hole playoff.

Charl has been all but forgotten on the PGA Tour since winning the 2011 Masters in dominating style, with four birdies on the final four holes. He continued to win an occasional event around the world but couldn't get back in the PGA winner's circle.

Until Sunday. And it couldn't have come at a better time, with Augusta right around the corner once again.

In the last four months Charl has won the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Tshwane Open on the ET, and now he adds the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour. Three worldwide wins? That's enough to put him back on my RGWR radar and, for this week at least, knock Jason Day out and take over the fifth spot. That could change with a good Day next week, but this is this week. And who knows? Maybe Charl has turned a corner and is about to regain his past form.

At any rate, Charl merits his first Limerick Summary since that 2011 Masters win, to go along with his nearly $1.1mil payday:
The new greens made putts roll so slow…
But Charl snaked some in, just for show!
When none could shoot lower
Than his 4-under score,
A playoff won Charl all the dough.
The photo came from the tournament upshot page at PGATOUR.com.

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