Charl hoping for a tough test in Nedbank Golf Challenge

8th November 2018 | Sunshine Tour

Charl hoping for a tough test in Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Charl hoping for a tough test in Nedbank Golf Challenge

“I can’t remember.”

This was all Charl Schwartzel said when asked about how last year’s edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at Sun City where he tied for 12th, was.

He shot an opening round 69 last year but a 73 on Friday set him back so that by the end of the tournament, he was in a share of 12th. Despite such a solid result, being a winner that he is, it is not surprising that Schwartzel would try and forget anything that is not a win.

“I’ve had close calls here,” he revealed ahead of his tee off time on Thursday, “I came second the one year. I find with the wind, it plays tougher and I play better. The way it sits off the tee, it’s very difficult for me to be aggressive being a fader of the ball. So, when it’s difficult, I can play a little bit more defensive and still sort of shoot the same scores as I was if it was going to be easy. So, saying that, I hope it’s difficult.”

And, this Gary Player-designed layout can be challenging to both a professional and a semi-skilled golfer but the 2011 Masters champion has got it figured out.

“It does provide a stern test,” he said of the Gary Player Country Club. “You have all the clover greens, with the altitude it makes it really difficult to be precise with your iron play, and saying that, that is the key to playing well here. Iron play has really got to be on point to make birdies.”

Boasting two top-10s in his last six starts in Europe, Schwartzel goes into this tournament with his game in good shape and ready to contend, a fact he intends to capitalise on.

“It’s good. It really is,” he said of his game. “I feel like my game is as good as it can be, and I’ve got to just put tournaments behind me and wait for it to change.”

A solid opening round will give him an indication of whether he can contend here whereas a not-so-solid round will only spur him on to work even harder in the following rounds of this Rolex series tournament.

Whatever his start or his finish, for that matter, Schwartzel, like many of his compatriots will be happy for another opportunity to perform for South African fans at this penultimate event on the Race to Dubai.

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