Schwartzel happy with underdog tag

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2011, 6:17 pm

SANDWICH, England – Boasting a record in this year’s majors that’s the envy of most of his peers, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel should be regarded as one of the favorites for the British Open.

The 26-year-old South African possesses a decent background in links golf and has enjoyed three weeks of ideal preparation in dry, windy conditions back in his homeland for the year’s third major, which starts Thursday.

However, he is as long as 50-1 by some British bookmakers to win at Royal St. George’s and continue his impressive run of results in 2011, which includes that memorable victory at Augusta as well as a joint-ninth finish at last month’s U.S. Open.

Not that he’s bothered.

“In a way, I’ve always liked playing the underdog and then surprising people,” Schwartzel said. “I’m out there to give it my best and see if I can win this tournament.

“Whether my odds are 200-1 or 12-1, it doesn’t make any difference to me.”

Maybe it’s his disappointing record in previous British Opens that’s putting off the bookies.

A tie for 14th at St. Andrews last year is his best result on these shores. The seven years before that, he failed to qualify twice and missed the cut four times.

One of those missed cuts was at Royal St. George’s in 2003 when, as an 18-year-old player in his first season out of the amateur ranks, he found himself atop the leaderboard early in the first round.

“My first British Open was here – I remember, I think I led after three holes and got such a fright when I saw my name on the leaderboard that that was all I can remember,” Schwartzel said. “After that, it was a bit of a blur.

“It’s what, eight years later. I think I’m a bit more mature and understand the game a bit better.”

That development was demonstrated at Augusta in April, when he took advantage of Rory McIlroy’s meltdown on the final day to emerge from the pack and win his first major, by two shots.

His closing 66 included birdies on each of his last four holes to become the third South African to win The Masters, after two-time winner Gary Player (1974, ’78) and Trevor Immelman (2008).

With Louis Oosthuizen the defending British Open champion, South Africa currently holds two of the four major titles, helping the sport blossom in the country.

“There’s lots of youngsters out there that all of a sudden have a really big interest. I’m sure it’s made a big difference to South African golf,” Schwartzel said.

Adding the Claret Jug to the green jacket would give Schwartzel arguably golf’s two biggest prizes.

“As a youngster, those were the two main ones that I used to always think about,” he said. “I’m not going to say which one I think is better or worse. I think they’ve both got their elite stature.”

Choosing to skip last week’s Scottish Open – widely regarded as the main warmup tournament to the British Open – Schwartzel instead preferred to stay in South Africa.

In terms of the weather, he certainly got the better deal, with the Scottish Open plagued by torrential rain and storms that veteran Scottish player Colin Montgomerie described as “end-of-the-world stuff,” reducing it to 54 holes.

“I decided to stay at home. It’s pretty cold right now but we get clear days and with a bit of wind, I figured it would be pretty good practice, which it was,” Schwartzel said.

“The courses are dry so I could really prepare for the way that these courses (at Royal St. George’s) would play. We’ll see how that works out.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.