Last Updated: 09/03/12 2:57pm
The 2011 Masters was a classic involving a final round rollercoaster ride which saw the agonising collapse of the runaway leader and a cavalry charge from the chasers that meant no less than eight different players topped the leaderboard at some point.
The week started with a strong showing from the international golfers as Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Spain's Alvaro Quiros posted seven-under-par rounds of 65, to give them a two-shot lead over Korea's KJ Choi and YE Yang.
On the second day there were stunning rounds from the Australian debutant Jason Day, whose 64 pushed him up to second, and Tiger Woods, whose 66 left him third alongside Choi.
But none in the field could catch the 21-year-old McIlroy whose Friday 69 gave him a two-shot lead on the field and when he added a round of 70 on Saturday he extended that advantage to four.
Long heralded as a major-champion-in-waiting he had stunned the field and watching millions with his long driving, high approach shots that landed softly, a deadly short game and fearless putting.
But with no less than four players tied in second place, early scoring opportunities aplenty and final day nerves anticipated, McIlroy knew the tournament was not yet won.
No-one took advantage of good scoring conditions on Sunday more than South Africa's Charl Schwartzel who chipped in for birdie on the first hole and then holed out from the fairway on the second for eagle.
Following a first hole bogey, McIlroy treaded water as all around him made a charge, no more so than Tiger Woods who played the front nine in five-under-par to briefly tie the lead before failing to maintain the momentum through Amen Corner.
McIlroy's challenge finally succumbed to pressure at the start of the back nine - he hooked his tee shot into trees on the 10th to record triple bogey, dropped another shot at the 11th, four-putted the 12th green and then hooked another drive into tree on the 13th tee that left him slumped over his club. His race was run.
Ahead of him three Australians - Jason Day, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy - all topped the leaderboard at some stage, as did 2009 champion Angel Cabrera.
But just as he had started brilliantly so Schwartzel would end in style - on the fiftieth anniversary of Gary Player's first win, Schwartzel birdied every one of the last four holes to claim his first green jacket in sensational style.
The 26-year-old Schwartzel's triumph was built upon his success on and around the greens. He was no slouch at hitting the greens in regulation (he hit 68%, ranking 19th in the field) but only one player took fewer putts than his total of 107 and no-one scrambled better than he did (he made par or better 70% of the time he missed the greens). A key to the South African's victory was his ability to safely negotiate the par-fours which he played in four-under-par (only Angel Cabrera played them in fewer shots). Also crucial was his ability to avoid bad holes - he lost only seven shots to par all week (nothing worse than a bogey) which was the best effort of anyone in the field.
|T8||Bo Van Pelt||280||-8|
|Par 3 Contest Winner||Score|
|U.S. Open||Rory McIlroy|
|The Open||Darren Clarke|