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Schwartzel a mystery despite Masters win
Question of the Day
“If you get to keep it only for a year and then leave it, you’ve got to pretty much enjoy it,” Schwartzel said. “No point in leaving it if you’re only going to see it every two months.”
That’s typical of the low-key Schwartzel. He’s the son of a chicken farmer and former professional golfer in Vereeniging, South Africa, south of Johannesburg. Raised in the shadow of fellow South African Ernie Els, Schwartzel has the swing, grip and posture of someone schooled in golf’s basics at a young age. He plays conservative golf, putts well on fast greens and likes big courses, ones that open up right in front of you.
Seven wins on the European Tour followed after he turned pro at 18. Until that Sunday at Augusta, Schwartzel compiled five top-10 finishes in parts of five seasons on the PGA Tour. Pronouncing his a name wasn’t a problem, at least in the U.S., for a player who was largely anonymous.
The Masters changed that, of course, and nudged the reserved Schwartzel out of his comfort zone.
“Charl was a shy lad when he came over. A lot of the Afrikaans boys are because of the language and whatever,” Chandler said. “He’s really blossomed in the last two or three years since he met his wife, Rosalind, and become much more outward-going.”
Media requests have rolled in along with public appearances, like a question-and-answer session in front of 1,500 supporters at Wembley Stadium before the Champions League final between Manchester United and FC Barcelona.
“I don’t think I’ve changed. Still smiling. That’s one of my big goals,” Schwartzel said. “I expect my mates to tell me if I do change. I don’t want to change.”
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