Charl Schwartzel crowned winner of inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After a long three days, 54 holes, no cuts and shotgun starts, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is officially the first victor of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series.
With 15 pro titles to his name, Schwartzel cliched an individual victory as well as a team victory for his group Stinger GC, which includes Louis Oosthuizen, Hennie du Plessis, Schwartzel, Branden Grace.
Round three of three of the controversial series proved to be a walk in the park for the South African golfer. No one put much heat on Schwartzel, who remained in first through the entirety of the 18 holes. As a matter of fact, three Stinger GC members – Schwartzel with 7-under, Plessis with 6-under, and Grace with 5-under – claimed the top three spots.
Peter Uihlein tied Grace for third with 5-under and Sam Horsfield secured fifth place with 3-under. Dustin Johnson took eighth place with 1-under.
Coming into the third and final round of the Saudi-Backed golf invitational, Schwartzel, who also happens to be one of the 17 PGA Tour members suspended, held the lead through the first two rounds of play.
He shot a four-under 66 during the second round at the Centurion Club in England, leaving him with a huge lead at nine under par for the tournament. He was three shots ahead of second place Hennie Du Plessis, who was two shots ahead of third place Peter Uihlein.
In the first round, six-time major champion Phil Mickelson and two-time major champion Johnson were both four shots off the lead after shooting 1-under. While in round two, Johnson moved to sixth place still with 1-under, while Mickelson fell to 26th with 4-over after struggling a five-over 75 on Friday.
The event marked Mickelson’s first return to competitive golf since February. He was grouped with 10 other golfers, including Johnson, competing in the inaugural tournament after resigning their PGA Tour membership.
And that’s that. The first sector of the novel LIV golf series has wrapped for the 48 competitors. Next, we head to Portland for the second invitational of the LIV golf series on June 30.