Schwartzel, Oosthuizen miss Wentworth cut

Fri, 27 May 16:30:00 2011

Major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen failed to cope with a fiendishly difficult West Course and unseasonably cool weather when they missed the second-round cut at the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

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As the two South African friends reflected on shortened outings, their respective caddies popped the hand warmers they had been using at Wentworth back in their bags.

"Yesterday was by far the worst weather I've played in this year," Oosthuizen told Reuters after a second-round 74 in more benign but nonetheless cold conditions on Friday left him on eight-over-par 150.

"I know Charl doesn't like being very cold and it was quite chilly this morning.

"But I'm also not swinging it well. I won't blame the weather or anything," he said giving the same bashful grin he wore at St Andrews last year after a commanding seven-shot victory at the British Open.

Schwartzel, who was on cloud nine last month after a spectacular back-nine run earned him the coveted U.S. Masters green jacket, found the outlook decidedly gloomier at the European Tour's flagship event.

"It's never nice to play badly. I prefer to put this behind me and go and win next week," the 26-year-old told Reuters having said his hands had almost turned purple early on Friday.

Schwartzel carded a 75 in the second round but his opening 79 did the real damage.

"Yesterday you could have hit a good shot and still been penalised," he said. "I was hitting good shots and making bogeys."

A year ago Schwartzel and Oosthuizen played mostly under the international golfing radar but after their achievements over the past 12 months they now have a lot to live up to.

"You're more in the spotlight but nothing's changed. It's golf. I've still got to play the way I play and do what I do. It's not harder. If anything you've probably got more confidence," said Schwartzel.

While Oosthuizen's maiden major victory came last year, he said the pressure to achieve having landed one of golf's four big trophies can affect some players.

"It might just be me pushing myself a little bit too much," the 28-year-old said of a run of bad form which has left him without a top-10 finish since his win at the Africa Open in January.

"You want to raise the bar. After winning a major you want to win another one," Oosthuizen added.

The pair are now looking forward to next month's U.S. Open in Maryland.

Schwartzel said he would contact his mentor Ernie Els before the year's second major begins on June 16, especially as the triple major winner from South Africa triumphed at the same Congressional course at the 1997 U.S. Open.

"I'll go and play a practice round with him at that course. I'm sure he knows it very well," he said.

Oosthuizen is just hoping his game will finally fall into place.

"I've got to go out there the next two weeks and work hard to try and get my game somewhere close to where it was last year. But you can't play great every week," he said.

Reuters

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