As Charl Schwartzel reflected on his best Major finish in the last four years with his top-1o finish at The Masters, he could do so with a sense that everything he’s been working on is starting to show progress.
Schwartzel closed with a 74 that wasn’t his finest performance at this year’s Masters. But it was good enough to secure him a confidence-boosting 10th place on level par overall.
He finished 10 strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler. The American closed with a 71 to win his first green jacket and first Major by three shots over a charging Rory McIlroy on the final day at Augusta National Golf Club.
But Schwartzel, although well aware of the work that still lies ahead for him, was well pleased to find himself back in the conversation again at Majors.
“Augusta will always be special,” he told reporters after his final round.
“Every time I arrive here, that first drive down Magnolia Lane, there are very good memories. Even now looking out over the special place this is, for me 2011 was a dream come true and a life-changing experience, and I was very blessed to have achieved that.”
As he reflected on his final round, Schwartzel said he wished his putter could have matched the great mental space he was in.
“The two birdies at the end made it feel a little better. I kept putting poorly, so I was just struggling. But the two birdies helped, and overall it was probably the best week I’ve had this year, so that’s a good sign. Mentally I was in a good space, and the swing felt really good. Even through the struggles today, it wasn’t horrible. This golf course is unforgiving.
“I had a lot of par putts from, say, six feet, and I was just putting badly. I didn’t make any of them. But a top ten, at the beginning of the week and the way I’ve been playing, I probably would have taken it. Good signs.”
Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished tied 44th on nine over par.