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McIlroy stumbles as Schwartzel wins


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

It was ecstasy for South African Charl Schwartzel on Sunday as he triumphed in The Masters at Augusta - and total unmitigated agony for Rory McIlroy.

Schwartzel, 26, grabbed his first major title after yet another amazing day of high drama that saw Tiger Woods charge into a share of the lead and McIlroy, four clear overnight, collapse to an 80.

McIlroy's suffering was the biggest last-day collapse in a major since Jean Van de Velde blew it from five clear at Carnoustie in 1999. Three years before that, of course, Greg Norman was six in front at Augusta and with a nightmare 78 lost by five to Nick Faldo.

Now the 21-year-old's name will, for the time being at least, be grouped with theirs. He finished only 15th, an incredible 10 shots behind.

A front nine 37 was bad enough for McIlroy, but such was his overnight advantage that he was still leading as he entered the famed inward half and endured horror upon horror.

First a triple bogey seven on the 10th, where his hooked drive hit a tree and rebounded in between the cabins way left of the fairway and not far from the tee. He needed a wood for his third, went left again and then hit another tree with his pitch.

Even with a bogey on the next he was still in it, but that was his first three-putt and at the short 12th, his mind seemingly scrambled, he four-putted for a double bogey and dropped another at the long 15th.

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In contrast, Schwartzel shot a best-of-the-day 66 to beat Adam Scott and Jason Day by two and their fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy, Woods and England's Luke Donald by four.

Schwartzel chipped in at the first, pitched in for an eagle at the third and then, behind once again after playing the next 11 in one over, closed with a staggering four successive birdies.

He got up and down from just over the 15th, made 15-footers on the next two greens and, with two for it at the last, converted an 18-foot putt to end the week 14-under-par.

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