'Spectacular' McIlroy should win majors, says Schwartzel

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Rory McIlroy should accomplish great things in golf, said Masters champion Charl Schwartzel after spending time with McIlroy.
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PA Sport

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Published: Saturday, May 14, 2011 | 10:32 p.m.

Don’t worry about Rory McIlroy, there are major titles coming his way.

That is the message from South African Charl Schwartzel, the player who last month took the Masters title many thought was destined for the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland.

While Schwartzel is now at the Players Championship -- McIlroy is controversially giving it a miss, like world No. 1 Lee Westwood. But the three of them will all be gathered in Spain next week for the Volvo World Match Play, in England the following week for the BMW PGA Championship and then in Washington, D.C., next month for the U.S. Open.

That is McIlroy's next chance to win his first major, and Schwartzel is predicting great things for him after having a close-up view of how the youngster reacted to his closing 80 at Augusta.

"We travelled together the next day all the way to Malaysia, so we had lots of time," he said. "We stayed in the same hotel, so I saw Rory a lot. I think the way he handled it was really spectacular,” he said. "I mean, he must have been obviously hurting, but I think everyone else around him took it a lot further than he did.

"It looked like he forgot about it very quickly and got on with it and that's the sort of guy he is,” he added. "I think with that sort of attitude he'll be back and winning certainly some major championships. It was his idea to have a photo of us on the plane with me wearing the Green Jacket.

"I didn't want to sort of shove the jacket in his face. Obviously I had it in my hands and I just put it in the cupboard,” Schwartzel explained. "After that, he said 'where's the jacket? I want a photo with it.' I thought that was pretty cool. It's never nice being on that end after what happened and for him to suggest that takes some courage."