Charl Schwartzel and the 5 Most Shocking Masters Champions of All-Time
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We normally expect the best players to contend and win the major tournaments.
This is particularly true of the Masters, where Jack Nicklaus won six times,Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer won four times and Sam Snead and Phil Mickelson are among the golfers who won the tournament three times.
But every once in a while, a golfer who is off the radar finds a way to contend and win the tournament. When Charl Schwartzel teed it up in 2011, few thought he was going to walk away with the green jacket.
The tournament appeared to be Rory McIlroy's for the taking, as he had a substantial lead heading into the final round. However, when McIlroy struggled, Schwartzel was one of the golfers to charge into contention.
He asserted himself with four birdies on the final four holes, and he ended up winning the Masters with a 14-under-par score of 274. He won the tournament by two strokes over Adam Scott and Jason Day.
While Schwartzel has seven victories on the European Tour, his 2011 Masters victory is his only win on the PGA Tour.
Trevor Immelman was not a heavy favorite in the 2008 Masters.
Immelman had won one other tournament on the PGA Tour in his career, and the native South African had never finished better than tied for sixth in any of the other major tournaments.
However, Immelman put it altogether in the 2008 Masters. He shot an eight-under-par 270 and beat runner-up Tiger Woods by three strokes.
Canadian golfer Mike Weir shocked the golfing world when he won the 2003 Masters.
Weir has won eight tournaments in his career, but he had never won a major before his performance in the Masters, and he hasn't won one since.
Weir became the first Canadian to win the Masters.
The former hockey player shot a seven-under-par 271 and that was good enough to tie Len Mattiace for the lead at the end of 72 holes.
Weir won the tournament in a playoff when he bogeyed the first extra hole to get the best of Mattiace.
Larry Mize recorded one of the most memorable and improbable Masters victories when he chipped in a 145-foot shot on the 11th hole in a sudden-death playoff with Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros.
Ballesteros was eliminated on the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, leaving Mize and Norman contending for the green jacket.
On the par-four 11th hole, Mize was well off the green as he prepared to take a chip shot. He deftly struck the ball and it rolled into the hole for the victory, leaving the highly regarded Norman with a stunned look on his face. Norman then missed a birdie putt that would have allowed him to remain in contention.
Mize and his two rivals each shot a three-under-par 285 through regulation before heading to the playoff.
Mize won four PGA tournaments in his career, and his best finish in the major besides his Masters victory was a fourth-place finish in the U.S. Open in that same '87 season.
Charles Coody was a solid golfer on the PGA Tour during the 1960s and '70s, but he was far from a star.
When he began play in the 1971 Masters, few thought he would have a chance to win a tournament with stars like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller teeing it up.
Coody had won two tournaments on the PGA tour in the previous seven years. But he was at his best at the Masters. He fired a nine-under-par 279 to win the green jacket by two strokes over Nicklaus and Miller.
Coody would never win another PGA tournament in his career.
Bob Goalby won the 1968 Masters in perhaps the most controversial finish in tournament history.
After firing a 66 in the final round of the tournament, Goalby appeared to be tied with Argentinian golfer Roberto De Vicenzo with a four-round score of 11-under-par 277. However, instead of having to win the tournament in a playoff with De Vicenzo, Goalby was awarded the green jacket because of a mistake on his rival's scorecard.
In the final round, De Vicenzo had shot a three on the 17th hole. However, he signed a scorecard that said he had shot a four on that hole.
The mistake gave Goalby a one-stroke victory. De Vicenzo blamed himself for the costly error. "What a stupid I am to be wrong here." (source: ESPN.com, Jason Sobel)
Goalby had 11 PGA Tour victories on his resume, but the 1968 Masters was the only major victory of his career.