Els backs Schwartzel to star

Reuters - Fri, 12 Mar 22:47:00 2010

Charl Schwartzel is set to become South Africa's next golfing "superstar", according to triple Major winner Ernie Els.

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during second round play of the WGC-CA Championship at TPC Blue Monster at Doral in Miami, Florida - 0

Schwartzel carded a second-round 70 to finish three strokes behind leader Els at the WGC-CA Championship on Friday.

The 25-year-old Schwartzel has been in outstanding form this year and won back-to-back European Tour events in January at the Africa and Joburg opens.

"He's just got so much talent," compatriot Els said. "When he gets a break out here ... you're going to see the next superstar out of South Africa.

"I've known Charl a very long time. I've played golf with his dad (George), that's how far back we go.

"We won together in 1987. It was a better-ball tournament in South Africa."

Els compared Schwartzel to another South African, 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman.

"I played amateur golf tournaments and professional golf tournaments at the club where he (Charl) grew up," added Els.

"He won everything as a junior, very similar to Trevor Immelman, but he's even more impressive because ... he hits the ball a really long way."

Schwartzel said he was flattered to receive praise from world number 20 Els, the most successful South African since Gary Player who won nine Majors.

"It's great," he said. "It's always nice when you get compliments but especially nice when they come from guys like Ernie who's won so much in the game.

"Hopefully I can live up to it."


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