Charl Schwartzel

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte February 23, 2015 01:51

This week’s player of the week features Charl Schwartzel, a South African golfer who is currently ranked 30th in the world. Charl is a major presence on both the PGA Tour and European PGA Tour. Schwartzel is most well know for being solid off the tee in driving distance and is one of the best players on tour in terms of strokes gained, tee-to-green. While his success on the PGA Tour has been limited to just one victory, he did make the most of his win by capturing a green jacket at the 2011 Masters, beating out Jason Day and Adam Scott by two strokes.

Schwartzel was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and played his first 9 holes of golf at the age of 4. After a stellar amateur career, he turned pro at age 18 and joined the European PGA Tour. In December of 2004, Charl won his first European Tour title by taking home a win at the Dunhill Championship in South Africa at age 21. He has won 8 titles on the European Tour, the majority of which have been in his home country.

2011 proved to be a breakthrough year for Schwartzel as he was able to win the Masters in memorable fashion. After trailing Rory McIlroy by 4 strokes entering the final round of the tournament, he rallied to capture his first and only title in the US. He chipped in for birdie on the first hole, eagled the third and then finished the day with 4 straight birdies, a first in the history of the Masters.

Schwartzel is a part of a very talented group of players from South Africa following in the footsteps of Gary Player and Ernie Els. This group includes Louis Oosthuizen, Richard Sterne, Trevor Immelman, Tim Clark, Rory Sabbatini, Retief Goosen and Brandon Grace. Away from the fairways, Charl enjoys hunting and water-skiing. He is a keen follower of rugby, and supports the Springboks and the Blue Bulls, and also takes in some tennis. A little known talent of his is his ability to fly — he has his private airplane and pilot’s licence and helicopter licence, and enjoys spending time in the cockpit to get away from the stresses and pressures of the golf tour.

Charl is married to Rosalind, who is always with him and is his biggest supporter.

For the current season, Schwartzel is ranked 21st in the Fantasy Golf Insider Momentum rankings. He was 15 for 18 in making the cut last season in PGA events and is 9 for 10 this year in both PGA and European PGA events. Highlights (or a bit of a lowlight depending on how you view it) include a 2nd place finish at the South African Open where a late final round meltdown culminated with a playoff loss to Andrew Sullivan in a playoff and a 9th place finish in Abu Dhabi. Schwartzel just rejoined the PGA Tour at the Northern Trust Open where he finished tied for 41st on what proved to be a very difficult course. We will look to feature Schwartzel in the Honda Classic, the WGC Cadillac Championship, the Masters and also the Open Championship as Schwartzel has played the courses featured there well over the years.

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte February 23, 2015 01:51

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