Charl Schwartzel’s incredible win at the 2011 Masters was unquestionably one of the biggest shocks in recent memory.
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The South African, who fittingly won the title on the anniversary of Gary Player’s triumph 50 years ago, closed out his round in glorious style by hitting four straight birdies. This would ultimately prove enough for him to clinch a remarkable victory, as his 66 was the best winning final round score by the winner since Nick Faldo in 1989.
Having trailed by four shots heading into the final day, Schwartzel knew he needed to produce a special round. And that’s precisely what he did, as he went on to win by two shots over Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott.
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In a stacked field that contained star names such as Tiger Woods, K.J Choi, Geoff Ogilvy and Rory McIlroy all fighting for the lead, Schwartzel held his nerve impressively. The same unfortunately couldn’t be said for McIlroy, as the Northern Irishman endured a torrid final round to let slip his four shot lead to finish tied for 15th after shooting 80.
At 26 years-old, he also became the youngest winner since Woods won the green jacket back in 2011.
Speaking after the triumph, he noted how he drew inspiration from countryman, Louis Oosthuizen, who’d won the 2010 Open Championship. “That was a huge inspiration,” Schwartzel said. “To see Louis win the Open Championship the way he did, you know, we grew up together from a young age. We played every single team event, tournament against each other, and we represented South Africa for so long.
“You know, we always traveled together, so we basically are the best of mates. We play almost every single practice round together as well. So we know where our level of golf is, and just to see him do it made it, in my mind, realize that it is possible, and just sort of maybe take it over the barrier of thinking that a major is too big for someone to win.”
With that spectacular triumph remaining Schwartzel’s only major triumph, it’s definitely a victory that will live long in the memory of golf fans all over.