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Schwartzel Wins Masters; McIlroy Chokes – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 11th, 2011 by Chalk

Schwartzel Wins Masters; McIlroy Chokes
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South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel birdied the final four holes on Sunday to win The Masters by two strokes over a pair of Australians, Adam Scott and Jason Day. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy had a four-shot lead going into the final round, but closed with an 80 to drop out of contention. Tiger Woods briefly shared the lead during the final round despite starting seven shots back, before tying for fourth for the second straight year.

Schwartzel started Sunday four shots back, but got himself tied for the lead after just three holes with a 75-foot chip in for birdie on No. 1 and then holed out from the fairway for an eagle on No. 3. His string of four birdies of the final four holes was a first by a Masters champion, and included putts of 10, 16 and 22 feet on the final three holes. Schwartzel went ahead for good after the birdie on No. 17, and moves up to No. 11 in the world rankings. He becomes the sixth South African to win a major, and with Louis Oosthuizen winning last year’s British Open, South Africans have now won two of the last three majors.

“It’s obviously the highlight of my golf career, by a long way,” said an elated Schwartzel. “I always thought if there was one I would win, it would be this one.”

McIlroy, still just 21, blew the biggest third round lead at a major in over a decade (Jean Van de Velde blew a five-stroke lead at the 1999 British Open). He was still in it at his first nine, but triple-bogeyed No. 10, bogeyed No. 11 and double-bogeyed No. 12. “I’ll get over it,” said the disappointed young phenom, who also had the first round lead at last year’s British Open before shooting an 80 the following day. “I’ll have plenty more chances. I know that. It’s very disappointing what happened today. Hopefully it’ll build a little bit of character in me, as well.”

With his T4 finish, Tiger Woods moved back up two spots in the world rankings, from No. 7 to No. 5.

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