February 21 2012
Interview: Charl Schwartzel
The Masters champ says positioning on the greens is the key to scoring at Dove Mountain.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MARANA, Ariz. -- Charl Schwartzel, the reigning Masters champion, played 15 events on the PGA TOUR last year and didn't miss a cut.
Ditto for the 18 he played on on the European Tour, seven of which counted on both sides of the Atlantic. In retrospect, though, Schwartzel feels like he may have "jumped around too much."
For example, the South African barely missed out on a chance to win the $10 million FedExCup bonus at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola -- finishing 32nd and two spots shy of making the field at East Lake.
"I could play one more event and basically almost finished last and I would have been in the TOUR Championship," Schwartzel said. "I just didn't give myself a fair enough chance to compete, whether it be the (PGA) TOUR or the European Tour.
"You just have to decide. ... I don't want to play around the middle of both Tours. It makes no sense."
Schwartzel said he'll likely play the minimum 13 events in Europe this year and add more in the U.S. He and his good friend Louis Oosthuizen have based themselves in South Florida and the South African has become comfortable on the PGA TOUR.
"I enjoyed playing out here last year," Schwartzel said. "… I feel very at peace with myself out here. I feel like I belong. I want to give myself a chance here.
"I played Europe for nine years, busy with the 10th. I want to challenge myself to new goals and things. I would like to do a majority here."
So what does Schwartzel, who faces Gary Woodland in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday, think of Donald's dual accomplishment in 2011 -- winning the money titles on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour?
"I don't think people actually realize how impressive that was," Schwartzel said. "I try and have consistency. That's one of the biggest things I try and do. ... I thought I did pretty well. I didn't miss a cut out there. I finished mostly top 20 every week.
"And he just took that to a different level and finished the top five every week. It's phenomenal. To do that week in and week out, that takes a lot."