Despite his seven European Tour wins and a multitude of Top 10/Top 20 finishes, his (rather unusual) name was known only to avid golf fans with a global bent
That all changed on Sunday, when the South African donned a green jacket, posed for endless photos and trended on Twitter. His Masters win was unexpected and impressive, coming as it did with four birdies in a row on the back nine... and a leaderboard full of the best on his heels.
The 26 year old from Johannesburg was clearly not a crowd favorite. I was part of the sweltering gallery on 18 as the reality of Schwartzel's win sunk in and actually overheard someone say, "this isn't the sexy Masters finish we were hoping for but I guess it's OK"
Well, for one popular "Momblogger" the outcome was beyond OK... and well into sexy territory. In a post entitled "Why Golf is Suddenly Such a Turn-On" Jennifer Cullen praises Schwartzel's form-fitting pants, strong, tanned arms, and, above all, his accent.
Apparently, sexy is in the eyes... or ears... of the beholder.
Meanwhile the newly-minted Masters champion attributed his less than stellar start yesterday at the Malaysian Open (a first round 73) ... to a case of jetlag acquired during the 25-hour journey from Augusta. The weather in Kuala Lumpur was mentioned as well, it appears to be quite similar to what it was in Augusta for the Masters; in the 90s with sky-high humidity.
One player who doesn't seem bothered by the heat is Matteo Manassero. The Italian teen sensation shot a cool 66.
April 9, 2011- Photo by Harry How/Getty Images North America