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January 20, 2011

Charl Schwartzel


RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, Charl, great opening round, continuing on this great start to the year you've had. Tell us the story out there today.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Thank you very much. Yeah, today I went out and got off to a really good start. I've been struggling with my game, with my swing, for a while. Around a golf course like this, it's not best thing to be doing that. It just worked well today. Drove the ball well and gave myself lots of opportunities and converted most of my chances. Just a really solid round.
RODDY WILLIAMS: You say you're struggling with your swing; two fourths, a second and a first, not too bad for somebody struggling. Obviously putting the fear of God in everybody by striking the ball well again.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: You know, it's more of a feel thing. You feel uncomfortable. Playing some of the courses in South Africa, if you miss the fairway, there's no rough. If you don't feel comfortable, you start tightening up and you don't hit the ball as I normally would.
Last week was a golf course that I played lots of golf on and felt comfortable with it. I played well for the first 63 holes. The last nine holes were a real struggle. But it worked out at the end.

Q. What are you struggling with, mechanics in your swing?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: If I knew, I'd fix it.

Q. Are certain shots going right or left?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I've been hooking the ball. In my career, I've never hooked the ball. If I miss it, I miss it right. And lately I've been hitting it left.
I've been working on it. I have a few little things like moving off the golf ball and don't get quick, and as a consequence, the ball goes left. It's definitely better but this morning on the range, it felt good. It felt much better than Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt like I drove it well.
The courses in South Africa are not necessarily that long, so I was hitting lots of irons off the tees, so I can get the ball in the fairway. This golf course, you can't hit irons off the tee. You need to hit your driver straight. I drove the ball well today, and that gives me an opportunity to hit my iron shots close.

Q. You probably have been asked this question before, but what Louis did last year at St. Andrews, how much of a spur is that for you, seeing your mate do that?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I mean, Louis played fantastic that week. He's always been a great golfer, and that week things worked out really well for him. He just out played everyone.
For me as a close friend that plays lots of golf with him, it spurs me on more than anything else. It just shows me that if he's possible, it makes it just even more clear that it's possible. I'm very happy for him.

Q. What are you hoping to achieve by the end of this season? How far can you go?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: The sky's the limit, really. If you really put your mind to it -- to be realistic, my goal is to see if I can get in the Top-10 in the world, I feel I'm a good enough player to be in the Top-10 in the world. I don't like to think too far ahead, sort of play with each week what it gives you.
Weeks like this where you've got a strong field, if you win the right week, jump the World Rankings quite a lot. Golf seems to be going that way, to be ranked on the rankings more than the money.

Q. Do you believe you have what it takes to win a Major?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Oh, definitely. Without a doubt.

Q. Most of the big names here are playing a tournament for the first time this year. Do you think you and your South African colleagues have an advantage of having a flying start to The European Tour?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Definitely. We never really had a break. I had a weekend off of a break and I just started practising again.
This is my fifth European event I've played, and for most in this field, it will be their first. We don't really have a time off where things can go. We just carry on from basically The Race to Dubai. In a way, it would be nice to have a break, but it's good for the golf not to have had too long off during this time.

Q. Do South Africans tend to take a break at different times in the year then than other European Tour Members?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Yeah, you have to. You need a break. It's something that your body needs, to rest. You wouldn't be able to just carry on, carry on. There will come a time where you eventually blow out.
I used to take off after the Masters. You can take a few weeks off there. Sometimes it just means missing some tournaments. But it is necessary.

Q. Do you think the form you're in at the moment, you're going to have a decision to make later this year with The Presidents Cup against the South African Open, what's your feelings on that at the moment?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Well, that will be a good decision to make, a good position to be in. No, I haven't given it much thought to the schedule. I've still got time to think about it to see what sort of decision I'll make. It will be my first Presidents Cup, but it's also nice to play and support your own National Open. It will be a tough decision.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks very much.

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