In 2011, Augusta National was host to one of the most
scintillating final rounds in Major championship history.
Rory McIlroy’s distressing final round collapse opened the
door to the chasing pack, with eight players in with a legitimate chance of
victory at one stage during Sunday’s back nine.
South African Charl Schwartzel ultimately reigned supreme,
thanks largely to a remarkable finish that saw him birdie his final four holes.
Schwartzel was four shots off the lead
after the first round, held by Rory McIlroy and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro
Quiros, who both returned 65s.
On Friday, Tiger Woods rose through the
field with a six-under-par 66 to sit alongside Korean K.J. Choi in a tie for
third on seven-under-par.
The tenacious Australian Jason Day held
sole possession of second place on eight-under-par after a serene, bogey free
second round of 64.
They were all chasing McIlroy, who fired a
second-round 69 to reach the halfway stage at ten-under-par.
He extended his lead by a further shot
after a Saturday 70, but it was
about to go horribly wrong.
Pressure was building on McIlroy before he
started his final round. Schwartzel holed a lengthy pitch and run for birdie on
one, before spinning his second at the par-4 3rd into the cup for
He finished his front nine on
ten-under-par, as Woods. The former world number one birdied two,
three, six and seven, before a phenomenal second to the par-5 8th set up eagle.
McIlroy’s slender lead was obliterated
after a triple-bogey on ten and double on 12.
As he fell, many others started making
birdies and vying for position atop the leaderboard.
Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Day, Choi and Schwartzel
were all tied for the lead at one stage during the middle of the back nine.
Ahead, Geoff Ogilvy, who had five birdies in a row from the 12th, Luke Donald,
who chipped in for birdie on 18, and Woods were all tied for the clubhouse lead
on ten-under-par, as Bo Van Pelt eagled both 13 and 15 to add his name to the
list of contenders.
Schwartzel started his surge to the finish
line by making birdie on 15, before repeating the feat on 16 and 17. Day valiantly
made a three on 18 to reduce the deficit to one, but Schwartzel’s riposte was
yet another birdie, earning himself the Green Jacket and ending a remarkable
day of Major Championship golf.