No matter the athlete, they all have idols. Tiger Woods looked up to Jack Nicklaus. Dwight Howard is a product of Shaq. Charl Schwartzel, the 25-year-old South African, is going to be paired on Sunday with the man he looked up to, in the final round of an elite PGA Tour event.
Alas, the power of golf. No other sport allows generations to compete, but Schwartzel is tied at 12-under with Ernie Els at the Blue Monster, and will get the chance to defeat his fellow countryman on a global stage, in one of the biggest events of the year.
How did Schwartzel get here? Well, he's won five times on the European Tour, helping boost his world ranking to a sneaky good 35. On Saturday at the CA Championship, Schwartzel went around Doral in 67 shots, never sniffing a bogey and finding himself a shot off of the low round of moving day.
He's never won on the PGA Tour, but that shouldn't be what rattles him, if anything, on Sunday. He has six worldwide wins, including two already this season.
What pressure might get to him is standing next to the Big Easy, a man he used to go watch when he was a kid, and try to take down the guy he has on such a pedestal.
Els hasn't won since 2008, and admitted that Schwartzel is a "force to be reckoned with."
No matter the name, if a winner comes out of the final round on Sunday, it'll be another big moment for South Africa. Either Els would have climbed back to greatness, or they'll have a new talent making waves on American soil.