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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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LEADERS

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

ACT IV ENTER THE AUSSIES

Scott: Growing up in Australia, I spent my childhood watching Greg [Norman] play Augusta and contend, a lot. I think the whole country did. I mean, Greg was bigger than just golf in Australia. He was an icon. So the dream of coming to Augusta and simply playing is huge and, you know, to win even bigger. It's one of the things that we haven't accomplished in Australian sport. We are a strong sporting nation, and we push our athletes hard. One day it's going to happen.

On the 14th hole Ogilvy makes his third straight birdie to reach eight under, two off the lead. It is his first appearance on the telecast since the 2nd hole. At that moment his countrymen Scott and Day are at the 13th. Scott has played the hole birdie-eagle-eagle in the first three rounds, but after driving into the right rough, he lays up even though he's only 236 yards out.

Scott: I don't regret it at all. I didn't feel as if it was do or die. I knew if I laid up, I would still have a shot at birdie.

He is left with a 10-foot birdie putt but makes what he calls a "weak" stroke and takes an inconvenient par. When Day two-putts from 80 feet for birdie, he becomes the seventh player to have at least a share of the Sunday lead.

Day: I had to try hard to keep my composure. But my goal was to have a lot of fun and be happy. I was enjoying myself, and I think that really helped my mental game.

After an errant drive, Ogilvy lays up at 15 and then spins a wedge to within five feet, leading to his fourth birdie in a row. He's a stroke off the lead as he steps to the tee of the par-3 16th. The traditional Sunday pin is in the back left, allowing players to funnel shots off the steeply sloped green.

Ogilvy: When I get my invitation to the Masters in December, I start thinking about hitting that shot. You grow up watching balls trickle down that slope to the pin. I love that shot. As soon as I hit my tee shot, I knew it was perfect. I began to get a little nervous because I thought it might go in. Then what?

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