Masters 2011: Final Round Recap and Analysis
Most people outside of South Africa, myself included, had never heard of Charl Schwartzel before today.
Everyone will know his name from now on.
Schwartzel birdied the last four holes to defeat a trio of Aussies and a charging Tiger Woods. Adam Scott and Jason Day ended up two back. Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, and Luke Donald ended up tied for fourth at 10-under.
Rory McIlroy, who led or co-led almost the entire tournament, hit a wayward tee shot on the 10th hole and ended up making a triple bogey. He ended up with an 80.
Defending champion Phil Mickleson didn't play his best, ending up one-under for the tournament.
The elder statesman, Fred Couples, ended up at four-under.
Woods made a charge early, shooting a 31 on the front nine, but he only had one birdie on the back nine to slow his momentum. But it looks like he's almost back to the level that everyone remembers.
But the story today is Schwartzel. On the 50th anniversary of Gary Player becoming the first South African (or foreign player in general) to win a green jacket, Schwartzel becomes only the third South African to do so, joining Player and Trevor Immelman, who won in '08.
At one point, there were around 10 players within two shots. Adam Scott took the lead and held it going into 18. Tiger, Angel Cabrera, McIlroy and K.J. Choi all had at least a share of the lead at one point, making it one of the most exciting Masters in recent memory.
Even though Schwartzel kind of pulled away in the end, it's certainly more fun watching a tournament like this, when everyone is making a charge, as opposed to everyone getting jitters and someone backing their way into the title.
Schwartzel himself started off getting a little bit of luck. He chipped in off the green on the first hole to make a birdie, then holed-out on the third hole for eagle. Ernie Els's pupil would make bogey on the next hole and then a reel of 10 straight pars before the final charge. Just like most eventual champions, there's always a little luck involved.
I don't think you'll hear him complaining.
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