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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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Woods: It wasn't a must eagle, but it was an important hole. At Augusta you have to take advantage of the par-5s.

After a good drive Woods smokes a three-wood to within 10 feet.

Laird: It was definitely the most electric crowd I've ever seen. When [Woods] holed the eagle putt on 8, it was probably the loudest I've heard a crowd. The explosion of noise was unbelievable.

Ogilvy: You know what was really cool? Across the course you could hear when they posted the eagle on the leader boards. Down by 11, over at 13, then 15. One roar after another. Not for a golf shot but for the changing of the leader board.

McIlroy is all too aware of the cheers, and their meaning.

McIlroy: A big mistake I made was thinking too much about what everybody else was doing instead of concentrating on myself. In situations like that you can't let your mind wander.

When McIlroy makes a sloppy bogey from the middle of the 5th fairway, Woods is tied for the lead of the 75th Masters. He maintains his share by pouring in a 25-footer to save par on the 9th hole. Woods shoots a front-nine 31, one off the tournament record.

Ogilvy: There was a feeling of disbelief in the air. Everyone was thinking exactly the same thing: We are witnessing the greatest comeback in golf history.

Laird: Walking from 9 green to 10 tee, there's 30 or 40 yards of a little narrow corridor through the crowd. I've never seen people go so mad at a golf tournament. It was insane.

On the 7th hole McIlroy makes a 15-footer for his first (and last) birdie of the day, regaining sole possession of the lead. But he misses an opportunity at 8; after his second shot takes an unlucky bounce right of the green, he chunks a chip and settles for a disappointing par.

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