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No party, no clubs for weary Masters champ

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13, 2011- Charl Schwartzel said a hectic schedule had left him no time to celebrate his US Masters win after landing on the other side of the world — and without his clubs — just three days later Wednesday.
The South African said partying after his dramatic victory had been put on hold by a dizzying round of media commitments and a gruelling, 24-hour trip across the planet for this week’s US$2.5 million Malaysian Open.

Schwartzel, 26, admitted he did not know whether it was night or day as he faced media a day before the tournament starts at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, where he has not had a chance to play a practice round.

"Right now as I’m sitting here I don’t know if it’s morning or night," he said. "I’ve just had a 12-hour time difference and a 24-hour flight. I was in the gym earlier trying to make myself loose, trying to get it going again."

He said he was still struggling to comprehend the magnitude of Sunday’s win, when he birdied the last four holes to snatch victory in one of the most memorable Masters finishes.

"It’s still so difficult to take it all in — I’ve been so busy," Schwartzel said, adding that he didn’t even have time to celebrate before embarking on his trip to Kuala Lumpur via New York and London.

"We had so many media things to do afterwards and straight from there after just a couple of hours we had to get on a flight and come over here… Maybe (I’ll celebrate) next week when we’ve got a bit of a week off."

Schwartzel now faces the task of competing against a strong field including world number one Martin Kaymer and British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen at the tropical, palm tree-fringed Malaysian course.

He was not even able to practice after his clubs did not make it onto his flight from London, and were only due to arrive on Wednesday night — just hours before his 8:10 am (0010 GMT) Thursday tee-off time.

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But he said he hoped to be in contention for the Malaysian Open title by Sunday’s final round, despite the multiple distractions.

"I never play for the sake of playing. This week I’ll try to play my best. I seem to play better the hotter places get," Schwartzel said.

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