ENGLAND — It has been sixteen months since a South African won a major, but Charl Schwartzel believes that wait could soon be over, with no fewer than fourteen men from the “Rainbow Nation” teeing it up at the Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, starting today.
With Louis Oosthuizen losing out to Bubba Watson in a playoff for the Masters at Augusta in April, Schwartzel remains the last local player to taste major success.
Schwartzel hinted it could be young Branden Grace’s — a three-time European tour winner this season — turn to win one of the big ones.
“There’s a lot of South Africans playing well,” said Schwartzel on Tuesday after a practice round with George Coetzee, Grace and Oosthuizen.
“Branden obviously has had a good year, George (Coetzee) has also been playing really well, even Ernie (Els) is catching some form.
I’m sure by Sunday there’ll be a few of us up there.”
Looking at his own chances, Schwartzel was confident he could win any event he enters, but said this was the major that probably least fits his game.
“I do believe I can win — the tougher it gets, the better I get.”