Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Monday Recap: Masters Reaction

Charl Schwartzel won the 75th Masters on Sunday/provided by McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Wow, what a Masters Sunday.

Not even a Hollywood screen writer could have scripted Sunday's final round any better than what transpired at Augusta National's hallowed grounds.

So without further adieu, here's some next-day observations after such a thrilling Masters Sunday:

  • Tiger's sort of back - Tiger Woods morphed into the pre-scandal version with a Sunday charge, albeit on the front nine, that kept the series of roars going throughout Augusta. Woods carded a 31 in heading to the back nine, briefly held the lead and gave a glimpse into how close he is to being back. However, Woods missed some short putts and until he wins a golf tournament - he finished in a tie for fourth for the second straight year - he's not back. Not yet, at least.
  • The meltdown - Rory McIlroy looked like a 21-year-old kid on Sunday. He held it together on the front nine, before he went all "Tin Cup" on the 10th hole. The roars that began with Charl Schwartzel's early fireworks were unavoidable to the Northern Irishman's ears. McIlroy showed some class in his post-round interviews after blowing up to an 8-over par 80 that left the 54-hole leader in a tie for 15th. He actually had the lead heading to that fateful back nine, but he could never recover from the triple bogey on the 10th hole. He doubled the 12th hole and was finished before you could say "green jacket."
  • Australian jinx - Greg Norman is often considered an influential force on Australian golfers and came so, so close to grabbing a Masters title on more than one occasion. Like McIlroy, Norman blew a final round lead - his was six shots - during the 1996 Masters. Fast forward to 2011 and the crop of young Aussies were looking to give their country its first-ever Masters champion. Adam Scott took charge first with a birdie on No. 14 for the lead. An ill-timed second shot on the par-5 15th left him with a difficult up-and-down. He left with par, but recovered with a tap-in birdie on the par-3 16th hole. At that point, it looked like Scott's title to lose. Jason Day, playing alongside Scott, made a couple late birdies - including the 18th - to tie Scott at 12-under par. If not for Schwartzel's late magic, Scott or Day would be getting fitted for the green jacket. Instead, the Masters remains the lone major that an Australian golfer has not captured, begging the question if there is an Augusta curse?
  • The birdie barrage - Schwartzel joined Trevor Immelman and Gary Player as South Africans to win the Masters. He chipped in for a birdie on No. 1 before holing-out for eagle on No. 3 and did nothing until becoming the first player to birdie the last four holes en route to a Masters title. It came on the 50th anniversary of Player's ground-breaking major victory, where he was the first international player to win the Masters.
  • America denied - Look at the current titleholders of golf's four major championships and no American players are listed. World No. 1 Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship, South African Louis Oosthuizen took the British Open and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open last year. The last American to win a major was Phil Mickelson at the 2010 Masters.
The next major isn't until the U.S. Open. Hopefully we all get the theater and drama that came with this past week's Masters.

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