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“As a youngster, those were the two main ones that I used to always think about,” he said. “I’m not going to say which one I think is better or worse. I think they’ve both got their elite stature.”

Choosing to skip last week’s Scottish Open _ widely regarded as the main warmup tournament to the British Open _ Schwartzel instead preferred to stay in South Africa.

In terms of the weather, he certainly got the better deal, with the Scottish Open plagued by torrential rain and storms that veteran Scottish player Colin Montgomerie described as “end-of-the-world stuff,” reducing it to 54 holes.

“I decided to stay at home. It’s pretty cold right now but we get clear days and with a bit of wind, I figured it would be pretty good practice, which it was,” Schwartzel said. “The courses are dry so I could really prepare for the way that these courses (at Royal St. George’s) would play. We’ll see how that works out.”