At 30th in the FedEx Cup standings there is little expectation of Charl Schwartzel winning this week’s Tour Championship, but he’s achieved more than he could have hoped for by getting there. At the start of the year if you had promised the 32-year-old a PGA Tour victory and a top-30 ranking he’d have taken it with arms wide open.
At the start of the year if you had promised the 32-year-old a PGA Tour victory and a top-30 ranking he’d have taken it with arms wide open.
Five years ago was the last time he won on American soil, granted that it was the Masters, but time was getting on. His constant victories on the European Tour did not translate into dominance across the pond and he only once reached the Tour Championship, back in 2013.
In March this year at the Valspar Championship he found the missing puzzle piece. Three birdies in the last six holes on Sunday at Innisbrook Resort put him level with Bill Haas, the 2011 FedEx Cup champ.
Both players finished on seven under par, but Schwartzel won on the first extra trip down the 18th for his second PGA Tour title.
This week, six months after that victory, he’s in the final 30 of the FedEx Cup standings. It came on the back of an amazing Sunday at Crooked Stick Golf Club two weeks ago, where he shot 64 for fourth place at the BMW Championship. The result was good enough to catapult Schwartzel into the top 30 in the rankings and secured his place at the Tour Championship, which begins Thursday.
The Vereeniging local will be riding a wave of confidence at East Lake Golf Club, but he’s done enough in 2016 to not need any further results.
Anything more this week will be a bonus.