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February 15, 2013

Charl Schwartzel


CHRIS REIMER:  Good round, tough to finish with a bogey but all in all you're in good position after two days.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  Yeah, I'm very happy.  You know, I played some solid golf a few times where I probably should have made bogey and I made some good par saves.
But 18, I hit such a good tee shot, I was actually thinking birdie and walked off with bogey.  But at least I put myself in position for the weekend.  There's still 36 holes to go and if I keep playing like I am, you know, who knows.

Q.  What do you attribute your fine play just the last few months?  Is there anything that you've changed, done differently?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  Lucky.  (Smiling).
There's a whole bunch of things.  I fixed up my swing after the injury.  I've got no more pain when I swing the club.  That got me back to the consistency that I had going back just about the Masters time.  I obviously played some courses back down south which I'm familiar with and that always helps.  You know, so with the swing changes, that's worked, or the improvements, I should say; some consistency has come and some confidence.  So that was probably key.

Q.  Who were you working with for the swing changes?  A lot of people depend on their teachers; what's the advantage of being your own guy in that situation?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I think I was very fortunate that my dad taught me my swing, and he kept it very simple.  So I got a very good understanding of what it should be like and what it should feel like, and I think that's a pretty big advantage when you're away and on the road so much, to be able to fix it yourself.

Q.  Your homeland right now is in the news for all the wrong reasons with the Oscar Pistorius -- death, what was your reaction?  Have you met him much?  Do you know him?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I don't know him at all.  I've never met him.  Just seen what he's done, you know, as an athlete.  I've got no idea what he's like as a person or anything about his personal life.  So I mean, it's a shock.  He's a South African legend, and it's hard to see.

Q.  I think what it's done is put a spotlight on a part of living there that we maybe didn't know about, just perhaps how dangerous it can be.  Can you speak to that?  Do you worry about your safety when you're home?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I mean, you're cautious.  I sleep with a 9‑hole next to my bed.  But you've got to hopefully never have to use it.

Q.  There's a lot of players who have won a major, have had trouble dealing with it, and the expectations and all that you do in a major.  How did you deal with it and take it in stride and keep advancing in your career?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  Well, I sort of also saw that with guys that won it before me, so I tried to not make the same mistake.  I thought I did it pretty well.  Still try and go about the business the way I did before I won.  It does get difficult.  You got a lot more attention. 
       So I thought I did pretty well.  I thought I played very consistent golf, competed a few times.  2011 was a good year for me and then 2012 came and wasn't so great.  You know, picked up a few injuries and that sort of thing.  But it is difficult.  You've got to go through it to actually realize what it does to you.  It's a learning curve but it's something that I would love to go through again.

Q.  Was the time management the biggest problem?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I think so.  And also you've got so much pressure on you, a lot from yourself, too, because once you win something like that, you believe you can win anything out there.   It doesn't get bigger than that.  So when you play in a normal event, you think there's no reason why you shouldn't win, and that pressure comes from yourself.  And this game, you don't want to put unnecessary pressure on yourself.  It does lead to‑‑ it makes it difficult.

Q.  And you were able to sort of go athrough that and put that aside; how long did it take you to sort of feel normal again?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:  I didn't feel anything uncomfortable afterwards.  I felt normal on the golf course.  It was actually great to be on the golf course.  That's where you sort of get away from it.
It's taken me a while.  I started playing badly towards the end of the year, beginning of 2012, and you get frustrated.  It almost seems like you've got to fall before you get back up again.  So that's basically what it looks like has happened to me.

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