Play of the Week 11

April 11, 2011

This week’s play of the week goes to Charl Schwartzel, Masters Champion 2011. A protege of Ernie Els, Schawrtzel played beautifully all week to capture the Green Jacket, the most coveted prize in golf.

Schwartzel shot 69-71-68-66 for a total 274, -14. All rounds under par, Schwartzel saw the leaderboard for 3 of the 4 days, but led the tournament only on the back 9 of Sunday, briefly on 15 before Adam Scott birdied 16, and then on 16, 17, and 18. Amazingly, Schwartzel is the only player I can recall who has birdied all four of the closing holes of Augusta. Although 15 and 16 are “under par” holes on Sunday, 17 is a usual stumbling block, and 18 can be treacherous if not played perfectly.

As is usually true at Augusta, the player who putts best usually takes home the jacket. Schwartzel, cool as the other side of the pillow, rolled in 15-footers on 16, 17, and 18 to pull away from the pack and shoot a final round, 6-under 66. At one point, LG and I thought we might have a large playoff (when Tiger and 4 others were tied at -10–and Schwartzel was not one of them), but Schwartzel’s incredible play put that to rest.

So here’s to you, Charl. You conquered Augusta in style. While we may not have picked you to do it, we certainly were happy for the performance you gave.

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