South African golfer and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel has partnered with fashion brand Michael Kors to be the company’s global ambassador.
The partnership will feature Schwartzel as the brand’s first golf ambassador wearing Michael Kors apparel throughout his worldwide tour appearances, including the PGA, European and Sunshine tour events.
“I am honored to be working with Michael Kors and representing one of the world’s leading luxury brands,” said Schwartzel. “Michael Kors sportswear provides the perfect combination of fit, form and function while I’m competing. I’m also excited to collaborate with the company on the development of their sportswear, providing input on performance features to be incorporated into the line.”
“Charl has reached the pinnacle of achievement in the game of golf and his exceptional career is the reason why he is the perfect ambassador for Michael Kors,” said John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Michael Kors Holdings Limited. “Not only is Charl one of the most accomplished players on the tour but he represents the timeless values as well as the traditions of the sport. We are proud that he will represent us both on and off the course.”
Michael Kors is a fashion designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear clothing. His namesake company, established in 1981, currently produces a range of products including clothing, accessories, footwear, watches, and a full line of fragrance products.
Spieth has been far from his best this season and reached a low point, particularly with his putting, with an opening 76 – while playing alongside Tiger Woods – in the Valspar Championship last month.
The 23-year-old went on to miss the cut and failed to get beyond the group stages in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but bounced back to finish third in the Houston Open in his native Texas on Sunday.
“I made big strides in the last two weeks to get from kind of a panic place to a very calm, collected and confident place,” the 2015 Masters champion said.
“It’s difficult to do in two weeks. Sometimes it takes years. And I feel like I’ve been able to speed that process up a lot over the last couple of weeks.
“I feel better coming into this week than I did in 2016 and 2014 where I came off of missed cuts in Houston. There’s a lot to be said of the previous week’s momentum and being able to work my way into contention and hit some putts under pressure that I felt.
“I didn’t do a lot of scoreboard watching. I kind of pretended like I was tied for the lead even though I figured I was a stroke or two back. I kind of wanted that ‘You need to make this’ feeling and I started to really roll some putts in under the gun.
“My iron play and off the tee has been fantastic, just like it was last year. It’s just been about finding the [putting] set-up that I had for a couple of years that I kind of got a little stiff and away from recently.
“Settling into that from round one here will be important, but I feel like last week was a tremendous stepping stone in the right direction.”
Spieth has finished a remarkable second, first, second and 11th in his four Masters appearances and will also have the chance to complete the career grand slam by winning the US PGA at Bellerive in August.
“It’s not been the greatest start to the year of any that I’ve had,” the world number four added. “But I kind of look at it in thirds. You get 10 or a dozen events before the Masters, then the Masters through to the US Open is the next third, and then you get the last two majors and the FedEx Cup play-offs in the last third.
“I feel good about my game, I feel like I should have a chance to win this week. But if I don’t, it’s coming soon and that’s exciting for me.”
Poulter secured the last place in the field at Augusta National by virtue of his dramatic victory in the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, making a birdie on the 72nd hole before beating Beau Hossler in a play-off.
The 42-year-old then spent a day at home in Orlando before travelling to Augusta on Tuesday, where he was the 85th player in the 87-man field to officially register for the year’s first major.
Poulter, who has missed just one cut in his previous 12 Masters starts, said: “Thirteen is an unlucky number but I don’t feel it is after I’ve made it in.
“I’m the least prepared as I’ve ever been but I need to stay fresh because I know this golf course very well. I love this place.
“I’ve had success here, obviously not with the green jacket, but I’ve had success shooting 67, 67 over a weekend (to finish sixth in 2015), and I’ve got off to fast starts.
“I know I can play this golf course so it’s really about me managing my energy levels this week, staying patient and enjoying it for what it is. Last week I wasn’t supposed to be here and this week I am so I really need to enjoy what it means to get back here to play and see how we go.”
Poulter had packed his bags ahead of a possible missed cut in Houston following an opening 73, but stormed back to shoot rounds of 64, 65 and 67 to secure his first win since 2012 and a first stroke-play title in the United States.
“To watch the TV and see everyone play practice rounds, chipping and putting, and the excitement of Tiger (Woods) being back in form and all of that seemed a bit weird, but I’m here now,” Poulter added.
“I have zero expectations. I have never pitched up to the Masters on a Tuesday afternoon, I would never have done as little preparation as I’m about to do for this event.
“So as confident as I feel going into this week, I believe I’m unprepared, so let’s see if that works in my favour. Sometimes we’ve seen that in the past with players and it worked out well last week, so hopefully it can work out well this week.”