Westwood cruises to seven-shot win over Schwartzel in Thailand finale

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Lee Westwood earned his fourth title of 2011, and his second in December, with his wire-to-wire romp at Amata Spring.
By
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011 | 12:41 p.m.

Lee Westwood of England completed a comprehensive victory in the Thailand Golf Championship Sunday, shooting a 3-under 69 to beat his nearest rival Charl Schwartzel of South Africa by seven shots at the Amata Spring Country Club.

Westwood finished the tournament with a 22-under total of 266 for his fourth title of the year.

“It means a lot, any win does,” Westwood said. “It’s special this week because of the difficulty of the golf course, who I was up against in the weekend.

“Charl is the Masters champion and he has had a great year. The fact that I led wire to wire -- 60 in the first round and 64 in the second round, 20 under after two rounds -- it’s yours to lose really with an 11-shot lead. There was pressured involved.”

Although he never managed to catch Westwood at the top of the leaderboard, Masters champion Schwartzel closed to within two after he eagled the 11th and birdied the next when he sank a 30-foot putt.

That was as close as Schwartzel would get as Westwood also birdied the 12th to extend his lead to three before stretching the gap with birdies on Nos. 13 and 15.

“It was a tough day. The wind probably blew the hardest today compared to the last three rounds,” Schwartzel said. “I played great. If it wasn’t for Lee, I would have probably won the tournament.”

Former world amateur champion Michael Thompson (70) of the United States was third on 274.

Simon Dyson of England sank six birdies against three bogeys for a final-round 69 and a 12-under 276 to settle for a share of fourth with Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol (67).

Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama (70) and Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk (73) finished on 279, three more strokes back in sixth.