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Monday, 11 April 2011
2010 Champion Phil Mickelson (L) shakes hands with the new champion, Charl Schwartzel   (Getty Images)
2010 Champion Phil Mickelson (L) shakes hands with the new champion, Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)

Charl Schwartzel's refusal to accept failure is one of the key reasons for his Masters success, according to his father and coach George Schwartzel.

The 26 year old was crowned Masters champion at Augusta yesterday coming from four strokes behind at the start of the final day to end with a round-four best of 66.

That helped him become the third South African to claim the title as he followed in the footsteps of three-time winner Gary Player and Trevor Immelman, the champion from 2008.

His father George, who has mentored Charl's game all his life, was not there to embrace his son on the 18th green due to his own commitments back home.

But he was glued to his television set in the early hours of the morning at his farm just outside Johannesburg and has not slept since.

"I am just very proud today," he said.

"Charl has worked really hard for this.

"I just believe that in every sport there are basics that have to be done correctly.

"If they're not done correctly, then it's not going to happen. We just worked on his basics and Charl worked very, very hard.

"Nobody gets that far without working hard. So he worked extremely hard at his game, he was very dedicated and that why he is where he is.

"All his life he's been like that. I think every individual is different and that's what he is.

"He doesn't accept failure. It simply is not an option."

George is himself a former professional golfer and currently looks after his chicken farm, while also attending to his wife and young school-going daughter - his main reason for being unable to travel around the world with Charl.

Reflecting on his thoughts after three rounds at Augusta he admits that Charl was always in with a shout of winning despite being four back on leader Rory McIlroy, who collapsed to an eventual 80 on day four.

He continues: "It all depended on what McIlroy was going to do, but I said to my wife 'If he can shoot five under, I honestly believe he'll win it'.

"I called it on the number, five under to win by one and he obviously ended with six under to win by two."

In the end McIlroy ended way down the leaderboard in a tie for 15th on four under overall, while Australian pair Jason Day and Adam Scott ended on 12 under, two behind the champion.

While he was predictably cautious in predicting what the future may hold for his son, he felt the potential was there to kick on from the past week and claim more majors.

He added: "It's such a fine line...it's hard to say.

"He is a very, very good player and he can go very far. But it's difficult in golf and a long way.

"Last night there were a minimum of ten players at one time that could win.

"If you take a guy like Adam Scott, and there are many others like that, he hasn't won one.

"He's been close and can go through the rest of his life without winning one, finishing second. He hasn't played badly, just that somebody's done something better on the day."

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