Charl Schwartzel birdied his last four holes and turned in a low round of 66 to win the 2011 Masters Championship. It marks the first major championship for the 26 year old from South Africa. Schwartzel’s win comes 50 years to day when fellow South African Gary Player became the first international player to win at Augusta National.
It was a wild day day at Augusta where no less than seven players had a share of the lead at some point. The door was flung wide open as the leader after the first three round, Rory McIlroy had an absolute meltdown shooting a 79 and turning a four shot lead to start the day into a 10 shot deficit to end it. It was a bitter day for the 21 year old, but he’ll certainly have many chances to atone. He said that it was his poor tee shot (that ended up between some cabins) that was the start of his downfall,
“I just hit a poor tee shot on ten and just sort of unraveled from there. I just kind of lost it.” he said.
Angel Cabrera, who played with McIlroy in the final pairing, finished five shots off the pace making this only the second time in 21 years that the Masters winner does not come out of the final pairing.
Tiger Woods made a furious charge, even taking a share of the lead at one point, but poor putting plagued him today as it has all weekend. He finished tied for fourth, just four shots off the pace.
The low amateur of the tournament was Hideki Matsuyama from Japan, who completed the tournament at 1-under. Matsuyama hails from the northeastern region of Japan that was so devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami. He says his plans now are to head back home and volunteer in the clean up efforts.
But in the end, the day belonged to 26 year old Charl Schwartzel, who set a new standard for closing in one of the most competitive Masters tournaments of all time. His four straight birdies for the win has never been done before and will never be forgotten.