2011 Masters: Schwartzel Wins as McIlroy Fades Away

What was expected to be an 18-hole stroll towards a green jacket ended in a monumental collapse for Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy as the three-day leader vanished on the back nine to surrender a four-stroke lead and allow South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel to win the 2011 Masters in a wild Sunday at Augusta National.

McIlroy lost six strokes in three holes starting on the Par 4 No.10, where the 21-year-old had a triple bogey, en route to an 8-over 80 that dropped him from first to a share of 15th. McIlroy’s collapse allowed a mad scramble to ensue among the chasing group. For awhile, it appeared Tiger Woods was on track to a career-resurrecting victory as he zoomed to a share of the lead after the first nine holes. Woods, however, failed to sustain his birdie binge on the front nine and eventually settled for a tie for fourth place with a 10-under 278 total, including a 67 in the final round.

The biggest story of the day, though, was Schwartzel. The 26-year-old South African birdied his final four holes for a 66 and a 2-stroke victory over Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day, who both ended with 276 totals.