Schwartzel gets momentum with 68

Sunday, April 10, 2011
By Tracey McManus
Staff Writer

Fifty years after Gary Player made history as the first international Masters Tournament winner, another South African has a chance to win.

Charl Schwartzel, of South Africa, enters today's final round of the Masters tied for second with three other players at 8-under 208.

(Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff)

Charl Schwartzel finished three rounds at 8-under par, which tied him for second place with Angel Cabrera, K.J. Choi and Jason Day.

"I would take it, even if it wasn't (Player's) anniversary," Schwartzel joked about his chances at victory today.

He also is one of seven foreign players topping the leaderboard.

"It's just a bunch of really good players coming through," Schwartzel said of the internationals on the board. "The world is big. America is big, but the world is bigger."

At 26, Schwartzel is making his second Masters appearance and fighting for his first win. Last year, he placed in the top 30 of all four majors and won the 2010 Africa Open.

Coming off Saturday's third-round 68, Schwartzel was confident in his game after being paired with the No. 2 world-ranked Lee Westwood.

He made four birdies on the front nine but began the back with a bogey on the 10th. He righted himself with a birdie on No 15 and headed to the clubhouse confident and content with his position for today's final round.

"I managed to get off to a really good start, which got me going and moving in the right direction," Schwartzel said. "That obviously keeps the momentum, and all in all, it's just a really good day."

Schwartzel said he planned -- and prepared himself diligently -- to play well at the Masters.

"You do everything you can ... in this game, it doesn't help to come and practice this week here, because you won't peak this week," he said.

"You need to work three weeks before this in order for your game to be really sharp when you come in here. It's all in the back of the mind and you try and make this week that your game is at its best."

Reach Tracey McManus at (706) 823-3424 or tracey.mcmanus@augustachronicle.com.