Written By: Melissa Rudd
South African Charl Schwartzel produced a storming performance at the US Masters on Sunday to become the third South African to pull on the famous green jacket at Augusta.
Schwartzel’s two-stroke victory came exactly 50 years after fellow Johannesburg-born golfer Gary Player became the first non-American to win the 75th Masters Championship.
The 26-year-old birdied his last four holes to produce a winning final round of 66 and clinch his first major tournament victory in only his second Masters Championship. It comes just three years after the last South African, Trevor Immelman, managed the feat in 2008.
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Schwartzel overturned a four stroke deficit to finish on 14 under ahead of Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day on an epic day of golf in Georgia.
The 2011 event will also be remembered however for 21-year-old Rory McIlroy’s spectacular collapse. The Northern Irishman began the final round with a four stroke lead but bogeyed six of the 18 holes to finish on 4 under with a score of 80. It equalled the highest final round score recorded in the tournament's history on the world-famous Augusta green.
South African legend Player became the first overseas golfer to win the Masters in 1961 beating Arnold Palmer, the defending champion. He won again in 1974 and for a third time in 1978 at the age of 42 after not winning a tournament for four years.