Charl Schwartzel is ready for a tough contest at Oakmont Country Club, scene of this week’s US Open.
‘This really, really shows the weakness in your game if there is anything, and it even shows the weakness in your mind, if there is anything like that too,’ he said in a Reuters interview on Monday.
His Masters win in 2011 came courtesy of a hot flat stick at Augusta National Golf Club, but those greens seemed easy in comparison to what lies ahead.
‘Augusta has big slopes but they are gradual, almost constant in a way. Here you’ve got big slopes that have four breaks. The ball comes off a break and it will turn the other way and it will go back the other way and then down a hill,’ said the 31-year-old.
Schwartzel completed a practice round with Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen before chatting with the media. He was certain the tournament would come down to putting.
‘There are so many more variables here, so many slopes. To get speed right here is going to be so hard, and it’s going to be key this week,’ he said.
The Vereeniging local won the Valspar Championship in March after a healthy break from competitive golf. He heads into this week in a rich vein of form, which includes him leading the field for birdies made at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago.
‘I’ve had a really good year,’ he said. ‘I feel like my game is in a lot better shape than it has been in the last few years. The last few weeks, I have played better every week.’
The USGA sets up the US Open to be the toughest tournament in golf. Keeping the ball in play will be crucial this year, because the long grass will be brutal.
‘This rough is really, really, really juicy. The ball goes so down in this, you can get some lies where you can’t even see the ball when you stand over it. It’s just so, so, so severe,’ said the world number 22.