LAURY LIVSEY:Welcome Charl Schwartzel into the media center. You had a very nice round today. Would you like to talk about it a little bit.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:Thank you very much. You know, I woke up this morning, I thought the British Open was a week early, looking out the window. It wasn't very suited weather. You know, I played on Monday and Wednesday in the Pro-Ams, and I really like the golf course, made a whole bunch of birdies on those days, and I thought I could really put a good round -- or a good tournament together here.
I got off to a great start, hit the ball really good, gave myself opportunities and converted, which I've not been doing as of late. So I've been spending a lot of time on the putting, and it's nice when things you work on work out for you for a change.
I putted really well today. The back nine wasn't as good as the front. Hit a few loose shots from really nowhere. And thank you to my putting, I made some par saves. And that's what you need to do to keep your round going. So I'm very pleased with the way I putted.
LAURY LIVSEY:We'll take some questions.
Q. Charl, are you staying right in Hamilton?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: In the middle of it.
Q. Right in the middle of Hamilton? Sorry to hear that. (Laughs). Just wondering, did you hear the storm last night?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I did sleep good, but I didn't hear the storm.
Q. Could you talk specifically about the greens themselves? How are they holding when you hit it in? Is that the biggest change on the course?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I think that's what made -- it was quite a bit tricky this morning because I was playing the course pretty aggressively, hit quite a lot of drivers, and a few of these par-4s you're leaving yourself about 90, 100 to 90 yards in with a driver, and with all these greens sloping back to front as much as they are, with the rain last night, it was very difficult to take the spin off of it. Even a little half wedge was spinning back. And it definitely makes it very tricky. But surface wise, they're holding really well.
Q. Are they helping you as far as your approach shots go?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:I would say early this morning it wasn't really helping the ball spinning that much back. It was difficult to control. But I would say if it stops raining this afternoon and tomorrow would be really good.
Q. This is your first look at Hamilton this time around, isn't it?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:It's my first time here.
Q. I talked to a couple of guys in the last couple of days. I'd be interested in your thoughts on Ernie's victory Sunday. What did it mean to you? Where were you? Did you get a chance to actually see it, and kind of what was your reaction?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:I watched it with another good friend of mine. We were in Manchester at his apartment, and we watched the last nine holes on TV.
Yeah, I feel really sad for Adam Scott. Yeah, I never like to see those sort of things happen to anyone. But on the other side for Ernie to break through and win a major when no one thought he probably would again was really fantastic.
Q. Charl, can you tell us a little bit about your strategy and hitting as many drivers as you did? I know some guys here aren't doing that because of difficulty finding the fairway.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:Pretty simple. I just think my driver is the best club in my bag at this stage. I'm hitting it really good and long and straight. So I'm feeling comfortable with it.
Yeah, and I think also that the golf course, everything is sort of in front of you. So I've got somewhere to aim at. I like that, and I've got a good feel about it. So I just decided I'm going to play it aggressively.
Q. Two questions, if I might. First is did you sense this round coming because it seems like in the last few weeks you've been playing there have been a lot of good scores maybe, but not quite this low, and second, do you have a connection in Kelowna? Is it Louis or you just go up there on vacation?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:Yeah. Louis's family live in St. Luke's, but I always go with Louis. We go to Kelowna to I think Lake Okanagan the lake there. We go water-skiing every year, but this year it didn't work out. What was the other question?
Q. Did you sense this type of break-through round?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:Before I had the injury, that second Masters before the British Open I thought that was the best I've hit the ball in my career. I hit it so good. And you know, I didn't convert when I needed to. And one maybe missed shot and you end up making bogey. So just need to keep it going.
And then the injury came and I was pretty upset about it because I thought I was really close to breaking through and winning again. And you know, I had to sit around for three weeks, three-and-a-half weeks without being able to hit a ball. And had sort of a rushed recuperation for the British Open. Wasn't quite 100 percent. But at the British Open I didn't hit it as good as I did when I took off, but I kept practicing, and on Monday when I came here, things started falling into place. I thought about the feelings I had before the injury and I was starting to get excited. I'm definitely starting to hit the ball good again, and if I could putt the way I did today, I'll be on my way.
Q. Could you talk about your eagle real quick, just go through how -- you hit a driver and a 7-iron, I believe?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL:Driver and 7-iron, yeah. That's probably the best shot I made all day. I pretty much got that one up the middle and hit 7-iron in to about 15 feet and made a beautiful putt.
LAURY LIVSEY:Anything else? Charl, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.
- Charl Schwartzel