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BEST SUNDAY EVER
ALAN SHIPNUCK
April 02, 2012
For three rounds the 2011 Masters was a one-man show, as Rory McIlroy forged a four-stroke lead. Sunday was supposed to be his star turn, but when McIlroy stumbled, the day turned into a free-for-all. Here's how the 10 protagonists remember the sweeping drama, which unfolded in five acts
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April 02, 2012

Best Sunday Ever

For three rounds the 2011 Masters was a one-man show, as Rory McIlroy forged a four-stroke lead. Sunday was supposed to be his star turn, but when McIlroy stumbled, the day turned into a free-for-all. Here's how the 10 protagonists remember the sweeping drama, which unfolded in five acts

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Meanwhile, Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, has arrived at the 17th hole.

Ogilvy: When I get to the tee, I think I'm going to win the tournament. If I can make one more birdie I'm definitely going to win. It was hard to tee the ball up because of the nerves.

His drive leaks into the second cut down the right side. Up ahead, Woods has missed the green at 17 after cautiously going with a three-wood off the tee. He gets up and down for par. Playing for a flier that doesn't come, Ogilvy puts his approach in the front bunker, and he also has to scramble for par. Back at 15, Van Pelt sticks his second shot to three feet and makes his second eagle in three holes.

LEADERS

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Van Pelt: The coolest thing was the walk from 15 green to 16 tee. Everybody stood up and cheered. For me! I'll never forget that. But if there's one thing I could do over, it'd be the tee shot at 16. I was hitting my irons so good. Instead of taking on the water and the bunker and aiming at the flag, I aimed at the slope, where there's more margin for error. I pushed it by about a yard and a half, and the ball stayed up there, which is dead. If it catches the slope, I have a little birdie putt and who knows what happens? That's how small the difference between winning and losing can be.

Van Pelt's three-putt bogey ends his run. But his playing partner, Donald, drains an 18-footer for his third birdie in the last four holes, moving to 10 under, within one of the lead.

Donald [10 months later]: Really, did I birdie 16? I don't remember that, which is unusual. I normally have a pretty good recall of these things. But that goes to show how your circuitry can get overloaded there.

At 15, Day loses his drive into the trees and punches out. Scott smashes one off the tee and goes for the green, but from the middle of the fairway his five-iron approach slices into the gallery.

Scott: That's the only one I would want over. It wasn't a good swing. It would have been great to hit it onto the green and have a look for eagle.

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