Golf

Charl: Now I can focus again

2011-06-01 22:15
Charl Schwartzel (File)

Ohio - Life has finally settled back into something approaching normal for Charl Schwartzel after the dizzying whirlwind of media attention he faced following his spectacular Masters victory in April.

At this week's Memorial tournament, the South African will be making only his second start on the U.S. PGA Tour since his Augusta National triumph and he is eager to tee off in Thursday's opening round.

"I'm just excited to get back and start playing again now," world number 10 Schwartzel told reporters at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Wednesday. "I haven't been playing too much but my game feels good.

"Winning a tournament like that (the Masters) obviously does change quite a few things but they've been all good for me. I've made a few adjustments and now I want to come out here and win a few more (tournaments)."

Schwartzel birdied the last four holes at Augusta National to clinch his first major title by two shots. He became the third South African to win the coveted green jacket and was immediately catapulted into the media limelight.

"It did take quite a bit out of me, just there being such a big hype about it," he said of his Masters aftermath. "Now a month-and-a-half afterwards things are settling down a bit and I feel I can start focusing on my golf again."

Among the various accolades he has received since his major breakthrough, Schwartzel was especially touched by the congratulatory letters sent to him by golfing greats Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

"Mr. Nicklaus wrote me a note in person, in his own handwriting. It wasn't even typed. The handwriting was really bad," Schwartzel said while breaking into a broad grin.

"I received it two weeks after the Masters. That's really special to me. I've actually framed it. And Arnold Palmer also sent me a letter, which he signed. They didn't have to do those sorts of things."

One of the many perks of winning the Masters is that the reigning champion is permitted to keep the cherished green jacket for the next 12 months and Schwartzel has barely let it out of his sight.

"I take it pretty much with me everywhere," said the South African, who missed the cut in the European Tour's PGA Championship at Wentworth last week.

"If you get to keep it only for a year ... you've got to pretty much enjoy it. I'm not going to wear it just everywhere, but it's nice to have a look at it."

Asked when he had last donned the jacket in public, Schwartzel replied: "It was the European Tour awards dinners last week, and they actually asked me to wear it.

"It was a black tie event, and I'm dressed up in a green jacket. Most people thought I was a waiter," he added as the interview room erupted in laughter.

Schwartzel will tee off in Thursday's first round at Muirfield Village in a high-profile grouping with four-times champion Phil Mickelson of the U.S. and British world no 1 Luke Donald.

Read more on:    charl schwartzel
NEXT ON SPORT24X

McGinley pulls out of PGA

2014-07-28 11:55

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @05:00
  • SS7
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @06:00
  • SS5
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.