Steady Schwartzel happy with form
Last updated: 15th February 2013
Charl Schwartzel believes his dramatic up-turn in form over the last couple of months is largely due to the level of consistency his game has reached.
In the last six tournaments the South African has featured in, he won twice, claimed two runner-up finishes and two more top-five placings, a run which he believes is the best of his career.
"It's right up there at the very top, this run," the former Masters champion commented during the Northern Trust Open, his first event on the USPGA Tour this season.
"I played such nice golf towards the end of the year there and managed to get two wins. And then I have started off this year really well. It's definitely one of the best runs I've ever had. My confidence is high."
He began his stunning run with a fifth place finish at the SA Open in November last year and ended the season with two victories - an 11-stroke win at the Thailand Golf Championship and a 12-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
In between, the 28-year-old tied for third at the 2012 European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship before claiming a runner-up spot at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
When he was asked to identify what exactly changed during his run of good form he replied: "I don't really know. It's probably a whole bunch of things.
"I've fixed up my swing, I've played with no injuries and I started playing some really nice golf to build some confidence up. Confidence is such a big key in this game.
"And from there, it just sort of snowballs. It's hard to say it was one specific thing. Just getting my consistency back, I suppose."
"Honestly, I have played so well in all parts of my game," he continued.
"There's nothing you can really pinpoint that needs improving.
"Having said that, coming out here to America from South Africa, I've flown a long way and the body doesn't feel as good as it has been. But hopefully it will pick up this week."
After winning the Masters in 2011 - the third South African to do so - he was troubled with a rib injury that influenced his swing, but since then he has been fully fit.
However, despite his stunning form of late, Schwartzel hasn't set himself any specific targets for the 2013 season.
"I don't expect anything of anything for this year. Expectation, it's not a good thing," he laughed.
"I don't set goals. Goals create expectation and expectation, like I said, is not a good thing."
Schwartzel carded a first round 69 at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday and his playing partner Sergio Garcia was visibly impressed with his game during the round.
"He didn't get the most out of his round. The greens were tough in the afternoon and it was difficult to make some putts.
"But he looks really, really nice. He's swinging it very nicely and his putting stroke looks really good, even some of the putts he didn't make.
"He's obviously been in great form and it's nice to see. He's a friend of mine and I always enjoy seeing my friends play well."
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