Charl Schwartzel has produced a handful of good results on the PGA Tour this season, becoming Mr. Consistency and earning 29th place in the FedExCup rankings. To shoulder out his competitors and make the Tour Championship top 30 he needs to shift up a gear at the BMW Championship this week.
The 29-year-old wrapped up 2012 with an 11-stroke win over Bubba Watson at the Thailand Golf Championship and a 12-stroke win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. His goals for 2013 were a rise in the World Ranking and some big wins.
By contrast his 2013 PGA Tour season has been solid, but without fireworks. From 17 starts he’s made 15 cuts, 12 of which were top 25 finishes. From those 12 he's produced only four top 10s.
Therein lies the problem for the 2011 Masters Champion, who needs to shine at the BMW Championship this week in order to retain a top-30 spot and progress to Tour Champs.
Conway Farms Golf Club plays host this week, and the relatively unknown course levels the playing fields for all, which certainly aids Schwartzel in his campaign.
Luke Donald played college golf at the Tom Fazio-designed course and explained that the odds have been evened. “If there was ever a year to struggle, to come into an event needing a big week, this is a good one to come to," Donald said.
But Schwartzel ranks 19th in the world and is certainly not struggling. His problem is stringing it all together. PGA Tour rankings of fourth in birdie average and seventh in scoring average stand testimony to his ability, but he’s yet to win this season.
While the Vereeniging local has opened the playoffs with (surprise, surprise) a pair of top-25s, he wants more. Those two results have seen him cruise to the BMW Championship ranked 29th in FedExCup points, a position held since the playoffs began.
In order to achieve his goals for the season, Schwartzel must rise to the challenge at Conway Farms, which presents a blank canvas for the shot-making master.
At the end of 2012 Schwartzel gave great insight on the matter of setting goals and trying to win.
“The more you force the issue the less you do it. I just want to keep playing with no expectations. Tee it up, hit the ball down the fairway, hit it on the green, make the putt and see where it leads me.”
“If I play the best I’ll win. That’s the way I see it. You can’t take a step ahead and say that you want to do what Rory (McIlroy) did and win both money lists and become world number one. Sure, I want to, but that can’t be my goal,” he said with a wry smile.