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March 13, 2010

Charl Schwartzel


PAUL SYMES: Charl, thanks for joining us. Tell us about another fantastic day for you.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: It's obviously a very tough day out there today again with the wind. You know, I didn't think on Thursday it could get much stronger. I think it just did.
Today felt like I played really good golf again. I made a few crucial putts which kept me in it.
PAUL SYMES: You've won a few times on The European Tour, but the WGC would probably be something above and beyond that probably; do you feel you're ready to win?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I said earlier on, I've won two tournaments earlier in the year. Obviously this is a lot bigger than any others that I've won. But, you know, when it comes down to winning, you've still got to make the putts and hit the shots, so I'll just keep reminding myself that I have won and that I can do it. So I'll give it a good shot.
PAUL SYMES: You're probably playing with Ernie tomorrow; must have been one of your heros growing up.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Yeah, I used to watch a lot of his golf tapes that he made of his swing. I'm looking forward to it tomorrow. I'm sure we'll have a good say.
PAUL SYMES: Have you played with him in the final round before.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I don't know. Maybe I did once at Leopard Creek down in South Africa at the Dunhill. I've played quite a few practice rounds with him but not sure on the final round.
PAUL SYMES: Would it be extra special to beat him.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Well, when you go out on the golf course, it's everyone for himself. So it's great to play with him, and you know, I'm sure we'll have a good time and a good battle.
PAUL SYMES: Have you got a target in your mind for tomorrow, other than just win?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Obviously depends on what the wind does. I think there's a lot of birdies out there if the wind doesn't blow. It is the last day. I don't know; I don't particularly like to set targets in my mind. I like to just go play and see what score I shoot.

Q. Is it true you stayed with Ernie a few weeks ago, and how did that come about? And apparently you got to play a lot?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Yeah, I did. I stayed with Ernie after the Match Play. I had two weeks off. I went to Orlando and then on the Saturday I drove down to Ernie's and I just found him actually to ask him if I could practice him and he said, sure, why don't you come stay with me. I said, oh, well, that would be nice.
I went there and spent nine days with him, obviously he was playing Honda, so I saw him at night. But during the week, he practiced every single day after he played, even before, at the Bear's Club and that's where I got to practice with him a little bit. You know, I just -- that's about what it was.

Q. Ernie was in here yesterday saying he remembers playing a match with your dad that they won together in South Africa, and you were maybe two years old, I think it was 1987. But did your father ever talk about that particular tournament?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Lots of times. We used to go watch the Million Dollar down in South Africa. It's the first tournament that I went to go watch him, and my dad, obviously, spoke about that he played with Ernie there. They won that event, I'm not sure, it was either foursomes or better-ball, something like that. I think it was better-ball.
So he knew my dad, and I got introduced to him a couple of times down there. He was like my big hero. They played a little bit of golf together.

Q. Will you feel especially comfortable with Ernie because of the relationship that you have with him?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I'm sure I will. Like I said, I've played quite a lot of rounds with him and I feel very comfortable playing with him. I think we are both out there just to try and win the tournament.

Q. What do you feel has improved in your game the past couple of years that has allowed you to win tournaments?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I feel the last couple months, maybe year, I've got a lot better frame of mind, thinking a lot better on the golf course, more positive. And also, with that, the whole game -- my whole game seemed to have changed, hitting the ball better. I always hit it good, but you hit a bad shot, and it's like, what is that; and you get down on yourself. I just feel more positive and believe in myself more. With that, your whole confidence grows.

Q. How has that changed?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I don't know, a lot of people have asked me, I don't know. I suppose with it comes a bit of experience and years of doing the same thing over, and it doesn't work. So after awhile, you realize, well, maybe there is something wrong. Maybe you've got to analyse it. I was on holiday thinking about it, and I knew -- my dad used to tell me, and I hate to admit that, you know, when your dad tells you something. He used to say, "You're getting down on yourself, you're too hard on yourself. You need to be more relaxed and more positive."
I thought about it, and I had a good holiday and I came back, and it sort of just changed. I just started thinking a lot better.

Q. How confident were you that the back-to-back wins you had in South Africa that you could get those results, bring that game in more of a world stage like this one?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Yeah, those wins obviously gives you so much confidence. Doesn't matter -- obviously it doesn't matter what you win. To win is difficult. It's not easy. You've still got to play all 72 holes and make that putt on the last hole.
It gives you a lot of confidence to win. That's it. And as I sit here, I'm very positive. I feel -- I really feel like I can play with the best. And to me, that's a step in the right direction.

Q. I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall a couple of years ago, you turned down your chances to play here or maybe the Match Play, because it was more prudent for you to stay home; is that right?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: It was the Match Play. I qualified to play in the Match Play, but at that stage, I needed -- I needed to make -- I think I needed to finish top four or something to win the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. The only reason I stayed is I won it twice the two years before. There's no South African who won it three years in a row. You don't always get the chance to do that. So I stayed behind, and worked out well for me.
PAUL SYMES: Thanks very much, Charl. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts

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