Home > Golf > The Masters, 2011 Edition

The Masters, 2011 Edition

Charl Schwartzel sinking putt on 18 to win Masters

[Photo by Zachary Boyden-Holmes/Augusta Chronicle]

I have to say something, don’t I? My favorite sport. One of the year’s four major men’s tournaments. The one whose televised production is the best of all golf tournaments. (Few ads, no network promos, great camera work.) Almost eight months since the previous major. The beautiful course.

There truly is nothing like Masters Sunday. Whatever happens, I’m going to be watching, and I’m going to love it, as one champion emerges amid all the heartbreak.

Sure enough, this is how yesterday went, except that it was even better than anyone could have imagined. If you saw it, I need say no more. If you didn’t, I can’t possibly capture the drama. Eight players led or were tied for the lead coming home. As many as six were tied simultaneously, as players kept reaching a cumulative score of -10 and falling back. Finally, Tiger made it into the clubhouse at -10, after a glorious front nine that set high expectations and a flat back nine that gave him a piece of the lead. Then Geoff Ogilvy joined him at -10, thanks to a back nine stretch of five straight birdies. But too many players were even with them or just behind, with holes still to play. Finally, Adam Scott moved to -11. And then came Jason Day, also at -11. And then they moved to -12. It became clear that -10 wasn’t going to do it.

And finally, what will never be forgotten by golf fans, Charl Schwartzel’s glorious final four holes. He had opened with wondrous a chip in birdie from off the green on one and a hole in from the fairway for an eagle on three to jump from -8 to -11, only to fall back with a bogey on four. Then came ten straight pars, keeping him at that seemingly magical score of -10. And then: a birdie on the par five 15th brought him to -11, as Scott and day ahead of him were making their moves. A birdie on the par three 16th put him at -12. A birdie at the par four 17th and he was in the lead at -13. Safely on the green in two on the par four 18th, all he needed was two putts from 18 feet to win. But the way he was putting, you just sensed that he was going to go for it. He did, the ball dropped in, he had his fourth straight birdie, he was at -14, and the Masters was his.

Boy oh boy. A great start, a historic finish, those ten straight pars in the middle. What a round! What a tournament!

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