Nick Gordon
2 minute read
20 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Charl happy to be the favourite

Nick Gordon

When the field for the 103rd South African Open Championship tees off at Glendower Golf Club tomorrow it is highly likely that Charl Schwartzel will carry the favourites tag.

NO SWEAT. Charl Schwartzel shows good form ahead of this week's SA Open at Glendower.
Picture: Getty Images.

The fact that defending champion Hendrik Stenson has been forced to withdraw due to a wrist injury has given that line of thinking an added boost as the South African looks to claim a maiden SA Open title.

But the world No 22 is not fazed by the pressure that may come with carrying the mantle and instead is looking to focus on his own game over the next few days before hopefully lifting the trophy.

“I want to win it. I don’t put any pressure on myself. If I don’t win it now, I’ll win it some other time. My time will come,” Schwartzel said following yesterday’s Pro-Am at the parklands course.

“It’s unnecessary to put that kind of pressure on yourself. Being the favourite is a nice confidence booster. You can feed off people thinking that you might win,” he added.

“At the end of the day I know how to win and I know how to play the game.

“You can’t get ahead of yourself and those factors sometimes make you get ahead of things. You’ve got to stay level-headed and stick by your plan.

“If I play well then I’ll be up there, whether I win or not … we’ll find out.

Touching on the withdrawal of the defending champion, who had his red-hot run of form kickstarted by winning at Serengeti last year, Schwartzel said it was unfortunate that Stenson had to pull out but that given his workload this year it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

“I totally get why he pulled out,” Schwartzel said of Stenson, who became the first man to win both the Fedex Cup and Race to Dubai in the same season, decision.

“The amount of tournaments that that guy has played. The pressure that he sustained through the Fedex Cup to win that and then the pressure he had the last four, five weeks to clinch the Race to Dubai.

“You’ve got to think that the guy is pretty tired by now.”