PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, whose stunning back-nine birdie streak made him the third South African to earn a green jacket, has become the first major champion to earn a berth in the 29th PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Schwartzel, the first Masters Champion to close with four consecutive birdies, will be joined by the year’s remaining three other major champions, Oct. 18-19, at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda, where South Africa’s Ernie Els triumphed a year ago.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the season-ending showcase event that boasts the most difficult qualification requirement in the game – a major championship – will be televised by TNT to a worldwide audience.
“Just an exciting day,” said Schwartzel. “So many roars, and that atmosphere out there was just incredible. A phenomenal day.” Schwartzel’s day of validation included bounding past a group of contenders that included four-time champion Tiger Woods, who erased a seven-shot deficit in nine holes only to go flat on the back nine. Northern Ireland’s 21-year-old Rory McIlroy, the 54-hole leader, collapsed on the back nine as well, finishing with an 80. Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day provided the late chase, each finishing two strokes back.
“It’s been such a short time to think about what can happen. It’s a dream for me,” said Schwartzel, who turned professional in 2002 and whose previous five worldwide victories included the 2005 Dunhill Championship and this year’s Joburg Open. “It’s obviously the highlight of my golf career, by a long way. I always thought if there was one I would win, it would be this one.”
Port Royal Golf Course joins the Fairmont Southampton as the official hotel site for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda. The 6,842-yard, par-71 Port Royal is a public course that opened for play in 1970.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf features a $1.35 million purse, with the winner receiving $600,000, second place $300,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.
TNT’s prime-time broadcast of the event reaches a worldwide audience of 88.9 million U.S. homes and international viewers in more than 100 countries.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is hosted by the Bermuda Department of Tourism, Port Royal Golf Course, and the Fairmont Southampton Hotel.
Established in 1979, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf has grown from an 18-hole, single-day charity event to a 36-hole annual showdown that matches professional golf’s best against each other. Ernie Els captured the 2010 PGA Grand Slam of Golf title at Port Royal.
The remainder of the foursome for the 29th PGA Grand Slam of Golf features the winner of the U.S. Open Championship, June 16-19, at Congressional Country Club in Potomac, Md.; the Open Championship, July 14-17, at Royal St. George’s, England; and the 93rd PGA Championship, Aug. 8-14, at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.