Today was one of the most exciting Masters finishes in a long time. Tiger's big push, McIlroy's collapse and Charl Schwartzel's new green jacket all became headlines as they came in.
Today, the game of golf showed us what it has to offer today, and it has a lot.
Without too many of the "young guns" being relevant, there were still plenty of golfers out there putting pressure on the leaders. Jason Day and Adam Scott are still very young, but not quite Rickie Fowler. Today, they both played like seasoned veterans at Augusta, and very nearly provided us with a playoff.
Tiger showed us where his game is. It's almost there. Where? At the point of winning. Tiger Woods winning, not Charlie Sheen "winning." Two out of four rounds were excellent scoring-wise for Tiger, but especially today, he could have gone lower. He left so many putts within an inch total of the cup that had he had a better pace, he probably would have his fifth green jacket.
That is by no means a knock on Tiger's game. In fact it's a testament. For all of the things that could have been over the past four days for Tiger Woods, to struggle somewhat and still tie for fourth is just amazing. It proves what we all knew about Tiger: he's a beast.
When people saw the name Charl Schwartzel push up the board, they most likely were thinking a Euro was finally going to win. Too bad he's South African. Schwartzel joined Louis Oosthuizen and Trevor Immelman as recent South Africans to win a major (not to mention Gary Player or Ernie Els).
While many people didn't know about Schwartzel, they certainly do now. He should be in contention at the next major, since he can control his ball trajectory to the European courses better than Americans.
The most unfortunate situation to come of the 2011 Masters is Rory McIlroy. Although he handled the media commendably, his implosion will go down with Dustin Johnson's and Nick Watney's as a forgettable performance. Fortunately for McIlroy, that's what it is. As he pointed out, he is 21, and has plenty of time to win. He certainly will, it just wasn't meant to be today.
After everything was said and done for the Masters, it was a great week of golf filled with enough excitement to supplant the constant need for a Tiger Woods golf story.