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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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2:30 p.m. Charl Schwartzel (-8), K.J. Choi (-8)

2:40 p.m. McIlroy (-12), Angel Cabrera (-8)

ACT I A WILD START

Woods inspires the day's first roars with birdies at the 2nd and 3rd holes. Then it is Schwartzel's turn. A jittery approach on the 1st hole leaves him right of the green, outside the rope line in the first cut. He plays a low, running pitch that lands short of the putting surface and traverses one of Augusta National's most undulating greens.

Schwartzel: I think it would have been a pretty straightforward shot if it weren't for all the people who had trampled the grass. Normally I'm very good with a lob wedge, but I was forced to use a little six-iron and run it up the hill. [When it went in] I don't think I've ever heard a roar that loud.

Choi: Nobody knows how good that was. Impossible to make that. But he did. Wow!

Gary Player, three-time Masters champion: As great a shot as I've seen at Augusta.

From the middle of the 1st fairway McIlroy pulls his approach left of the green, leading to a bogey that cuts his lead in half.

McIlroy: That was the first point in the tournament where I made a very tentative swing. I came up and out of the shot. That's when I knew I didn't feel the same as the previous three days.

On the par-5 2nd hole McIlroy hits his drive into the fairway bunker, then catches the lip on his second shot. As he is lining up a four-footer for par, Schwartzel is playing his second shot to the short par-4 3rd hole.

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