December 5 2013
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 26 Charl Schwartzel and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 to watch in 2014.
NO. 26 PLAYER TO WATCH: CHARL SCHWARTZEL
2014 OUTLOOK: Expectations were high for Charl Schwartzel following his win at the 2011 Masters, where he birdied the final four holes for the victory. Since then, however, he is winless on the PGA TOUR (though he does have a couple of victories on the European and Asian Tours). And it's not as if he has played poorly -- he was third at both Riviera and in Dallas at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He also played well at the U.S. and British Opens with one round basically undoing his chances both times. There aren't really any major holes in the South African's game but one area he must improve on: His play on the weekend. -- Brian Wacker
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Schwartzel has yet to make a start in the 2013-14 season.
His strength is the absence of a weakness. It's not the sexiest profile but it adds up over time. Missed just five of his last 54 cuts with 33 top 25s during that stretch. Like many golfers from lands outside the U.S., his limited schedule squelches his potential firepower. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
Charl has one of my top five favorite golf swings on TOUR. Not only is his very balanced and wide technique easy on the eye, it produces some tremendously powerful and accurate shots. When Schwartzel is at full flight he is as impressive as anyone in the game. A balky putter has held him back but if he can figure that out I have no doubt that he can be a consistent force in the global game. -- Mark Immelman
I watched the South African play during the West Coast Swing last year and had him pegged as an early favorite to win The Masters. The monster season never materialized but I still look at Schwartzel’s game and think he could win any week and anywhere. He contended in the Northern Trust Open and could win there this year. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Still seeking his first win on TOUR since the 2011 Masters, Schwartzel took a step forward in greens hit -- climbing from 153rd in ’12 to 72nd in ’13 -- but a step back in scrambling -- dropping to 140th (55.02 percent) from 50th (58.95 percent) in ’12. His putting continues to progress, as he moved all the way to 44th in strokes gained in ’13 from 102nd in ’11 and 73rd in ’12. -- Bill Cooney