‘Links golf to me means a big challenge. I’ve always found it more difficult than the golf we play most of the year,’ Charl Schwartzel said in his pre-tournament interview at The Open Championship.
The 2011 Masters champ has been preparing at the Scottish links of Royal Troon to make sure he’s ready to contend for the Claret Jug.
‘I figured if I want to win The Open I have to find a way to play links golf better. You need to adjust. The same ball flight and swings don’t necessarily work over here. I’m really looking forward to the challenge,’ he said.
Schwartzel heads into the third major of 2016 ranked 21st in the world and fresh off a tie for seventh at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
He ranks ninth in scoring average on the PGA Tour this season and has missed just one cut in 13 starts.
‘I’ve had a really good year – won three times and had a few top 10s. The game is really consistent and feels solid. My mind is in a good place, and I’m looking forward to this week,’ he said.
Troon is a classic Open Championship venue and presents all of the challenges associated with links golf. Schwartzel must keep a cool head to stand a chance of taming the course.
‘It reminds me a little of St. Andrews, but it isn’t as open. When we played yesterday it was soft, and I think it will play very differently if it dries up. I came a little earlier this year and I really want to find a way (to succeed at links golf),’ he said.
‘I’ve always been a feel player, so I’m trying to use a bit of my creativity. The challenge lies in that your hands get so cold that you lose feel! I have as many jerseys on as I can,’ he added.