Crazy things happen when one has the lead at Augusta National Golf Club heading into the final round of The Masters. Rory McIlroy found himself at the top of the leaderboard by four shots before teeing-off on Sunday, but is off to a disastrous start as the field sees blood in the water. Even Tiger Woods is in on the action, with three birdies to one bogey and a swing that looks about as good as he can hope on Sunday at The Masters.
But it’s Charl Schwartzel stealing the show early and placing an immense amount of pressure on McIlroy with his impressive shot-making. Schwartzel, playing in front of McIlroy, sunk an impossible birdie chip from what had to be near 100 feet away on No. 1 to get to 9-under for the tournament. And on No. 3, Schwartzel found the magic again, putting a little english on his approach and dunking it for an eagle two to move into a tie for the lead at 11-under
McIlroy airmailed the green on No. 1, leaving himself an impossible chip with a slippery route to the hole. Faced with a six-footer for par, McIlroy missed, beginning his day with a bogey and giving one back to the field. On the second hole, his troubles got worse as he placed his drive in the fairway bunker on the lengthy par five, leaving himself a tricky second shot. He caught the lip on the way out, advancing the ball just a few yards before landing in the bunker with his third shot. He made an impressive save, though, nestling a long bunker shot up close
Tiger Woods is still firing despite a poor tee shot on No. 4. The result was a bogey, and a few choice words for a patron who made noise in his back-swing. But on the par three sixth, Woods played a wicked hook to spin the ball under the front-left hole location, sinking the putt to get back to 2-under for the day and 7-under for the tournament.
With Schwartzel surging and McIlroy looking shaky, we’ve got an old-fashioned battle at Augusta National in the final round of The Masters. For more on the tournament, check out the rest of our 2011 Masters StoryStream. Be sure to stop by SB Nation Atlanta and SB Nation’s golf community, Waggle Room, for more coverage of The Masters.