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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Charl in Charge: Schwartzel Wins the Masters

Charl Schwartzel came out of nowhere to win the 2011 Masters on Sunday.  He started the day tied with Tiger Woods at five shots off the lead.  However, after Tiger's dominant start and Leader Rory McIlroy's play beginning to falter Schwartzel just kept hanging around.  As Tiger missed a few critical puts on the back nine and McIlroy missed just about everything, Schwartzel couldn't miss.  It was his day as he hit five Birdies and one Eagle to only one Bogey.  That includes his incredible stretch run of birdieing each of the final four holes to seal the victory and claim the first Green Jacket for the South African.  

While Schwartzel's play was superior his story inevitably only comes in at third place after the resurgent weekend by Tiger Woods and the heartbreaking collapse of Rory McIlroy.  Tiger looked like he was 90% of his former self on Sunday.  He kept putting himself in great position to take strokes back.  Unfortunately he didn't exactly have Tiger Vision working all the time and he ended up missing a few very close puts that would have gone a long way to pushing the leaders all the way through the final holes.  Now most people are wondering if that was just an "all-in" move from one of the most talented golfers on the planet and his play will fall back to where it has been or is this the return to dominance that so many golf fans have been hoping for?  Remains to be seen.

McIlroy from between two homes
McIlroy looked untouchable for 3.5 rounds in Augusta this year but unfortunately for him, that final nine really wasn't kind to his Green Jacket dreams.  The likable 21 year old struggled early and that seemed to rattle him as he completely fell apart and finished the day with an 80 on his scorecard.  (not SKOHRcard)  While he should have plenty of opportunities to win in Augusta over the next 60 years it was definitely a little sad to see him lose it so dramatically on Sunday.  

Good for Charl, good for Tiger, and better luck next time to Rory.  Oh and Adam Scott, this guy wants his putter back.

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