Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel has been presented with European golf’s highest award of Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour, following in the footsteps of the three other reigning Major Champions.
The South African received his silver Honorary Life Membership card and money clip last night from George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, at a special ceremony involving his fellow South African Major Champions, Retief Goosen and Louis Oosthuizen, during the Tour’s Players’ Awards dinner on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship.
Schwartzel will take his place in the field for The European Tour’s flagship event tomorrow alongside US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Open Champion Oosthuizen and US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, who all received Honorary Life Memberships last November ahead of the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.
O’Grady said: “It is a great privilege to honour Charl in this way with the highest award we as a Tour can bestow, and even more appropriate that he received his Membership card in the distinguished company of two fellow Life Members and Major Champions in Retief Goosen and Louis Oosthuizen.
“Charl has been a strong supporter of The European Tour since coming through the Qualifying School in 2002 and we were delighted to see him succeed at Augusta National last month and ensuring that all four Major titles are currently held by European Tour Members.”
In April Schwartzel produced a stunning finish at Augusta National to complete an historic clean sweep of the Major Championships by European Tour Members, birdieing the last four holes to win the Masters Tournament by two strokes from Australian pair Adam Scott and Jason Day.
His victory came exactly 50 years after compatriot Gary Player became the first overseas player to win the Masters Tournament and was only the third victory by a South African at Augusta National, following Player’s three triumphs and Trevor Immelman’s Green Jacket success in 2008.
Schwartzel becomes the sixth South African to be awarded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour, following Player (1995), Els (1998), Goosen (2002), Immelman (2008) and Oosthuizen (2010).