Did you know: Masters champ Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel high fives his caddie Greg Hearmon after winning the Masters on Sunday.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The world was introduced to Charl Schwartzel on Sunday afternoon, as the South African birdied the final four holes at Augusta National to win the coveted green jacket.

But what else do you know about Schwartzel? Here are five things you need to know about the new Masters champion:

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1. SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT COMING

Schwartzel came into the Masters on a tear, with five top-10 finishes on the European PGA Tour, including a successful defense of his Joburg Open title.

The 2011 success was a carryover from 2010. Here’s a quick look:

• Schwartzel played in 11 PGA Tour events, picking up three top-10 finishes, including a T-2 at the WGC-CA Championship.

• In 24 Euro events, Schwartzel had nine top-10 finishes, including victories at the Joburg Open and Africa Open.

• • •

2. MERITING THE LOVE

Schwartzel was only the second player to earn three Order of Merit titles on the Sunshine Tour, picking up the honor from 2005 through 2007. He won his first Euro title in 2005, at the Dunhill Championship. He won his only Sunshine Tour title in 2006, capturing the Vodacom Tour Championship.

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3. YOUNG GUN

Schwartzel might be a young Masters champion, but he was the third youngest to secure his Euro Tour card out of qualifying school, picking it up at 18 years and 81 days.

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4. HERE, BIRDIE, BIRDIE

Schwartzel had 16 birdies at the 2011 Masters; he had only 10 in his T-30 performance of 2010. A deeper look at the birdies:

• He had five birdies on the par 3s this week, while only having two in 2010.

• He had six birdies on the par 4s in 2011, after only three in 2010.

• He had seven birdies (plus an eagle) on the par 5s in 2011, with only five in 2010.

• • •

5. FLYING HIGH & OTHER QUICK NOTES

• Schwartzel isn’t just riding a high on the course; he also owns a private pilot’s license.

• Schwartzel played the final round with K.J. Choi and Lee Westwood on Saturday. He played the first two rounds with Stuart Appleby and Charley Hoffman.

• Schwartzel’s hometown of Vereeniging, South Africa, lies along the Vaal River, south of Johannesburg and is part of the Gauteng province. It is a big community of more than 400,000 residents. It is known for its manufacturing, mainly iron, steel, pipes, bricks, tiles and processed lime. Primary language is Afrikaans, with some English and Sesotho used as well.

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