The power of the Schwartzel! Charl Schwartzel wins the Masters!

by Derek on April 10, 2011

in Masters,PGA Tour,Tiger Woods

Rick Moranis Spaceballs

I’ll be honest.  I was really rooting for Adam Scott to win the Masters.  Mostly because a) I wanted to use the headline “Great Scott!!!”, b) he could have single-handedly made long putters cool and c) I don’t have any pictures of Charl Schwartzel to post.  So instead I’m using a picture of Rick Moranis from Spaceballs, because he definitely knows the “Power of the Schwartz(el)”.

Schwartzel earned his victory at the 2011 Masters.  He was 1-behind Adam Scott, who looked destined to finally break through with a victory in a major.  But with 4 to play Schwartzel reeled off 4 straight birdies to get to 14-under, 2-strokes ahead of Scott and Jason Day.  That included an amazingly confident birdie putt on 17, which I believe was only the 5th birdie there all day.

Schwartzel was on many people’s “Dark Horse” lists for the Masters.  After winning twice and finishing 8th on the European Tour Order of Merit last year, he joined the PGA Tour for 2011.  He chose one heck of a tournament to grab his first PGA Tour victory, becoming only the 3rd South African to win the Masters (Gary Player, Trevor Immelman).

Tiger Woods was the early clubhouse leader at 10-under but several missed putts on the back 9 (sound familiar?) kept him from contending once Scott surged into the lead at 11-under.  Still, his Sunday 67 was a great response to his 74 on Saturday.  He didn’t quite get it done, but he struck the ball well and showed us all that maybe he really is close to putting it all together.

And well what can we say about Rory McIlroy?  He looked like a sure thing when he finished Saturday at 12-under.  But he found out the hard way how impressive Tiger Wood’s major performances have been over the years.

It’s often said that there’s “Sunday pressure” in a golf tournament and then there’s “Sunday at Augusta”.  That was apparent when McIlroy turned into an 18-handicapper on the 10th and hacked his way to a triple-bogey.  He shot a 43 on the back nine to card an 80 for the day, finishing T15.

He’s young though and handled everything with class.  Hopefully he’ll be able to build on this experience and come back stronger than ever.

Ultimately this was one of the most exciting Master’s finishes in years.  Normally there’s only one or two guys who really have a shot at winning on Sunday afternoon.  With 9 holes to play, the tournament was wide open, and Schwartzel was the player that stepped up, executed, and walked away with a green jacket.  May the Schwartz(el) be with you.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

PJ April 11, 2011 at 8:29 am

If Woods shot a 32 or 33 on the back to go with the 31 front that would have made one amazing story, even if he ultimately didn’t win. Too bad he had that stumble on 12.

Schwartzel not the most interesting player to win in my opinion, but hard to argue with a 30 yard chip in, 100 yard hole out and 4 straight birdies to finish. He deserved it.

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Jordan J. Caron April 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

Did you jack my line from Twitter Derek?!

I’m really intrigued to see what yesterday will do to Rory. His swing is fluid but Kostis made some great points about grip tension under the pressure and his tempo was out of sync with his body. When his timing is on (evident by the first 3 rounds and Qual Hollow last year) there aren’t many better swingers on tour.

Crazy day and I think the setup by the Masters Committee along with the players had a lot to do with the outcome. So great to see lots of players stand up to the Tiger roars and produce quality shots. The last few yeas have been ok but nothing compared to yesterday and I think it may be tough to match the sure uncertainty of yesterdays outcome in the future.

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Derek April 12, 2011 at 12:59 am

Actually I jacked Sportspickle’s line :-)

Rory has now held 5 54-hole leads in his career and lost 4 of them. And he almost lost the 5th, having to get up and down on 18 to win. He’ll get there eventually, but he needs to learn how to close out a tournament on Sunday or he’ll end up with the title of “Best Player to Never Win a Major”.

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