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Schwartzel rallies, wins wild Masters
The cheers were impossible for McIlroy to ignore.
From the second green, where he was scrambling to make par, McIlroy could hear the noise ahead of him for Schwartzel’s eagles. Moments later came another roar to his right on the seventh green, where Woods stuffed one close for another birdie.
Woods‘ red shirt looked a little brighter. He walked a little taller. And the cheers kept coming.
The biggest boom from the gallery came on the par-5 eighth, when Woods knocked in an eagle putt to reach 10 under and tie for the lead. There was no mistaking that sound, or who it was for.
Over the next few minutes, more cheers could be heard from all corners of Augusta each time Woods‘ score was posted on a leaderboard. He still had the back nine to play, and momentum was on his side.
Not for long, though.
He missed a 3-foot par putt on the 12th, failed to birdie the par-5 13th with a 7-iron for his second shot. Then, after twirling his 7-iron with a shot so pure it settled 4 feet away on the par-5 15th, he missed the 4-foot eagle putt.
“I got off to a nice start there and posted 31,” he said. “And then on the back nine, could have capitalized some more.”
Which shot would he like to have back?
“Oh, we can’t do that,” Woods said. “We do that every week and we would go crazy, wouldn’t we?”
Schwartzel finished at 13-under 274 and moves to No. 11 in the world, making him the No. 1 player in South Africa. He becomes the sixth South African to win a major.
“It’s been such a short time to think about what can happen. It’s a dream for me,” Schwartzel said. “It’s obviously the highlight of my golf career, by a long way. I always thought if there was one I would win, it would be this one.”
For Scott and Day, it was bitter disappointment for themselves and their country. The Masters is the only major an Australian has never won, and it has become a rallying cry for so many players who watched Greg Norman endure years of heartache.
Scott, who switched to a long putter in February, took the lead for the first time with a short birdie on the 14th and had the look of a winner with his tee shot to tap-in range on the 16th, and a clutch par save from the bunker on the 17th.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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