PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Players Championship will be Charl Schwartzel’s first U.S. appearance since his Masters victory. Schwartzel played the Malaysian Open the week after the Masters – finishing 11th – then took three weeks off.
During his break, Schwartzel said fans recognized him at the mall and while he was putting gas in his car. Schwartzel, who’ll play at 1:28 p.m. Thursday with Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan, has broken par in just two of six rounds at TPC Sawgrass, and never shot lower than 69. He missed the cut after rounds of 71-75.
Many first-time major champions struggle after their big win because of self-imposed pressure to repeat that result. Schwartzel’s simple strategy – his father, George, remains his only swing coach – could help him avoid those pratfalls.
“I think a lot of other people try and change a lot of their things,” Schwartzel said. “They do swing changes and they do all sort of changes. Why?
“I’m not going to fall into that trap because I’m just going to keep working on it and improving on it.”