It’s hard to pick a starting point for recapping today’s proceedings at Augusta. At one point, there were five players tied for the lead with four more one stroke behind. But when the dust settled, South African Charl Schwartzel reigned supreme after a brilliant round of 66. That’s just the primer for one of the most thrilling Sunday’s of a major in recent memory.
After playing 54 holes of composed and intelligent golf, Rory McIlroy delivered a round of golf that would make Dustin Johnson (great pick Evan!) proud. The lad from Northern Ireland started his round with a bogey, and it just got worse from there. The wheels came completely off the Rorywagon on hole 10, when he drove his tee shot between two cabins well off the fairway. This was the beginning of a Van de Velde-esque hole and after posting a day-worse 80, McIlroy finished tied for 15th.
Tiger Woods couldn’t keep the momentum going after his stellar front nine. The his charge really deflated when he missed a short eagle put on 15 that would have given him a one stroke lead. Still, Woods looked sharper than he has in some time and seemed to be enjoying his golf. The PGA has to be happy that it’s biggest ratings draw is rounding into form.
Brilliant shots, missed puts, shanked drives, and tossed clubs littered the course today. Jason Day, Luke Donald, Angel Cabrera, and Adam Scott all held a share of the lead at some point, and plenty of other names were in the mix. For a golf fan, it was a glorious day of action.
But when all was said and done, it was the unheralded man from South Africa wearing green. The twenty-six year old Schwartzel started his round with a chip-in on one and a brilliant iron shot on three for eagle. Then finished his round with four straight birdies to win the Masters. Standing on the 18th green, he needed only two putt to win the Masters. He birdied it instead. It was that kind of day for him.
And with that a fantastic four days of golf comes to an end. If the other three majors are half as entertaining as this, we are in for a brilliant summer of golf. See you all at Congressional in June!