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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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ACT V CHARL'S CHARGE

On the long, narrow 17th hole Scott pulls his drive so far left, he's in a bunker on the 7th hole. Back at 16, Schwartzel is facing a 20-foot birdie putt with 18 inches of break.

Schwartzel: The putt on 16 was another one where I hit a few in the practice round and knew exactly how much it turns. I think I had so much confidence in my putting at that stage that I knew if I could relax my hands, I would make a proper stroke. And I was able to do that every time when I stood over the ball, get myself really calm.

His ball catches the left edge and tumbles in for a birdie that pushes him to 12 under, tied with Scott. Donald bogeys the 17th hole after an errant second shot ("I remember that one, unfortunately") and then hits the flag stick on 18 with his approach, the ball caroming off the green. He chips in for birdie to get back to 10 under, touching off the lustiest celebration of his career.

Donald: The reason I reacted like that is because that kept me in it. I knew Tiger and Ogilvy were already in at 10 under, and now I had a chance to be in the playoff. Adam and Charl had the lead, but it's easy to make a mistake on the last two holes.

After finding the bunker in front of the 17th green with his second shot, Scott saves par with a clutch 12-footer to maintain his share of the lead. Day makes a 40-foot bomb to move to 11 under.

Day: When Scotty got to 12 [under], I knew that I had to birdie 17 and 18. And I said on 17 tee, Four more good swings. That putt was going a little strong, but it hit the hole and went in.

Schwartzel's drive on 17 leaks into the right rough, his path to the green blocked by the limb of a towering pine.

Schwartzel: It would have been wedge for me, but I had to hit a little nine-iron with a touch of cut on it, which I thought worked absolutely perfect.

Choi: That green is as hard as rock. I don't know how he stopped the ball out of the rough but somehow he did. Check his grooves! Best shot he hit all day.

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