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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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Donald, only a month away from taking over the top spot in the World Ranking, arrives at the 12th hole only two strokes off the lead but dumps his tee shot into Rae's Creek, leading to a double bogey.

Van Pelt: When he pulled nine-iron I remember thinking, He better hit it good. Seemed like he did, but the air does funny things down there.

Donald: I was aiming at the middle of the bunker and trying to hit a little hold back to the flag. I pushed it eight or nine yards. It was very deflating.

McIlroy reaches the 10th hole still leading by a stroke but yanks his tee shot dead left into the pines. His ball caroms farther left, toward a couple of cabins that are not considered in play.

McIlroy: I felt comfortable on that tee shot all week, and for some reason I started it a little left of where I wanted to and hit that tree. I don't think anyone's been over in those cabins before.

While McIlroy surveys his options, he can hear the cheers as Scott makes a 30-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, to reach 10 under. After a successful punch-out McIlroy still has a good chance to save bogey, but with a three-wood he hooks his third shot left of the green, behind a tree. His fourth shot clips a branch and fails to reach the green. He goes on to make a triple-bogey 7. If McIlory is in need of a word of encouragement, he is not going to get it from his brooding playing partner.

Cabrera: Well, it's not that I feel sorry for him, because it has happened to many players and it can happen to anyone; it can happen to me, and it's just tough.

LEADERS

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

Choi: On the back nine everything was happening very fast. It was one roar after another, or people kind of groaning so you know something bad has happened. It was impossible to keep track of who was doing what.

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