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July 31, 2014

Charl Schwartzel


MARK STEVENS:  We'll go ahead and get started and let some people file in here.
Charl, you got it to 5 under today.  Kind of talk about what was going well, and then we'll have some questions.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  To be honest, I actually didn't feel like it was‑‑ well, it started off not being my A‑game.  I was left and right and hitting some great recovery shots and just not losing any momentum.
I made a fantastic birdie on the very first hole I played at the trees.  I made a whole bunch of pars from there.  I missed a short little par putt on a 1 that broke that sort of momentum.  It was maybe after that bogey that I actually started hitting some really decent shots.
That's when I started making five birdies in the course of, what, six holes.
I don't really know what to put it on to, but I think the way I hung in there at the beginning, not losing the momentum, sort of allowed me to get it going towards the end there.  It was nice to make a few birdies.
MARK STEVENS:  If you want to kind of talk‑‑ you were one of the earlier ones off.  Kind of talk about the course and if it changed overnight with the rain.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  Yeah, I think, with the rain and the golf course being a little softer, it makes it easier to drive the ball.  On this golf course, the fairways can get really runny, and most of them have got quite a lot of slope in it.  It makes it difficult to keep it on the fairway.
Being softer definitely allows you to hit some more shots off the fairway, and you definitely sort of want to be doing that on this golf course.
Second shots require some precision, and if you get that right, you're going to set yourself up to shoot a good score because the greens are so good that it isn't really any excuse to putt badly.

Q.  How was the pin setup today?  I heard someone say the pin setups were particularly difficult for this day.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I think what may have been difficult is the fact that it was quite wet.  I found that a few flags were at the back, and the ones that were in the front were where the false front were, where the ball would spin way off the green.
So the back flag is actually really difficult when it's soft because you can't get it to the hole, and you start pushing forward, and you start hitting aggressive shots, you pitch it long, and it doesn't come back out of the rough, and you make bogey.
So it's difficult to get those back flags, and then obviously the front ones, you've got to be careful not to back it off the green.
The front locations they used were holes like 1, where you could spin it 30, 40 meters down the fairway.
So I think it's more the softness of the greens that made the flags a little difficult.

Q.  The way you finished your round today, did you feel more comfortable as the day went on?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I got more comfortable as the day went on.  When I started off, the first nine wasn't that great.  I wasn't driving it well.
But like I said, off that bogey on 1, I started hitting the ball good.  I didn't miss a shot really after that except for the 9th.

Q.  At this point in your season, just in terms of this round, do you feel like you've got momentum rolling on your side at this point?  How do you carry that to the rest of the weekend?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I think it's pretty early to make assumptions whether I've got momentum carrying on my side, but it does help to get off to a good start.
I have been playing fairly decent.  I had a good British Open.  I felt like I actually played pretty good in Canada, just basically the putter went cold on me for three days there.
It's been feeling good.  So to answer your question, maybe the momentum is starting to roll in that direction, yeah.

Q.  You said that you didn't miss a shot like after the 1st hole.  Was there one thing that you can pinpoint that you kind of maybe found?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I haven't really seen my physio for almost six, seven weeks.  I was having a bit of pains in my back yesterday, and the muscles were really tight.  So last night he did a really deep, sort of physio treatment on me, which made the muscles feel pretty sore actually in a way.
I find sometimes, when I do that that close to playing, I almost feel like I lose a bit of feel and a bit of touch.  I'm guessing that's sort of what happened for the first nine holes is just not feeling right.
So as it progressed, it just seemed to get a little bit better.  Sometimes after making a bogey, you sort of lose some expectation, or you free up more.  I'm guessing that's what happened.  So I hit a great tee shot on the 2nd with very good timing, and I kept that feeling going for the next whole bunch of holes.

Q.  Was that just it for you?  Did something click there in the back half?  Because it seems like you're just saying things just kind of went as they were.  You felt like you weren't playing that badly on the first half year round.  Can you describe anything strategically that may have clicked?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I don't think it was really something strategically that clicked.  I just started getting a good feel in my hands and some good timing came back.
The game, at the end of the day, is about feel.  If you start feeling better, you start playing better.

Q.  Did you have any chip‑ins today?  What were your longest putts?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  No chip‑ins.  The longest putt might have been on the 4th hole maybe.  There weren't really any long putts.  Maybe the longest was 15 feet max.
MARK STEVENS:  Thanks for your time, Charl.

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