As a field of the world finest golfers’ tees up for the 2021 Masters starting at Augusta National on Thursday, it marks 10 years since South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel surged through the pack, like a thoroughbred racehorse, to win the 2011 Masters by two shots.
Four consecutive birdies on the par-five 15th, par-three 16th and par-fours at 17 and 18, in the final round on Sunday at Augusta to win the Masters had never been done before. Not until Charl Schwartzel changed 75 years of history in the slanting spring Georgia sunshine in 2011.
The then 26-year-old South African produced a remarkable sequence of holes, and particularly putts, on Augusta’s notoriously fast greens. It was an even more impressive feat of mental toughness as Schwartzel never blinked in the white heat of a Masters Sunday showdown that included a charging Tiger Woods, a flailing Rory McIlroy and nine players sharing the lead at one point or another.
Oh, and for Schwartzel (and several others) it had the added tension of trying to close out a first major championship title.
Playing in the second to last group, when his final birdie putt from 15-feet dropped, Schwartzel went into the clubhouse on…