The 2011 Masters is officially over.
It was an exciting finish! I thought it was quite interesting that Jason Day was excited to get home to watch it on TV. He heard all of the Augusta roars and wanted to see all the action that he just heard throughout his round.
Both Jason Day and Adam Scott were very complimentary to winner Charl Schwartzel. They both commented that anyone that can birdie the last four holes at Augusta deserves to put on the green jacket. I thought it was quite interesting that they both said they can only control what they do and that is what they focus on through their rounds. Whether it be the first shot of the tournamnet or the last, they must focus on that particular shot.
I think all golfers and non-golfers had a special place in their heart for young Rory McIlroy. Day, Scott and Schwartzel all commented after the tourney was over that Rory is an outstanding player and it will be tough for him to get over Sunday's round but he will. He is an exceptional player as he displayed the first three days and he is very young. This will be a learning experience for him and he will get better from it.
All of us that golf somewhat seriously know first hand that once you start to lose it on the golf course, it is very hard to stop the bleeding. It is a very lonely and frustrating experience.
The three top finishers also mentioned that it is not very hard to figure out what's happening on the course ahead of them when they hear all of the cheers. It is almost impossible not to look up at a leader board as there are big billboards all around Augusta.
Schwartzel came into the interview room wearing his new green Masters jacket. Very impressive!
He spoke how tough Augusta is and how he came to Augusta to learn the course.
A friend had asked Mr. Nicklaus to go over how to play the course to Charles. He thought Jack would go over a few holes and a few shots to avoid but he sat down and gave an in-depth description how to play every hole and where to hit and not hit shots. Charles was a little embarressed as he had not even seen the course at that time.
Is it time for a changing of the guard?
Well, guess who Schwartzel's idol was when he was growing up in South Africa playing the game? Tiger Woods.
Schwartzel used to play a lot of golf with Louis Oosthuizen when he grew up. When Louis won the British Open in 2010, Schwartzel knew that he could compete with the best in the world, too.
Schwartzel really seemed like a nice, young man. He grew up on a chicken farm and still helps his Dad sell eggs and run the farm equipment. I found it interesting that he was glad he got paired with K.J. Choi as he is a calm player and that helps a lot when you are trying to score. It makes it easier for a player to focus.
Tiger looked like the older Tiger for a while. I followed him for five holes and he got that old Tiger look, and the putter failed him a little.
One last note about Schwartzel: On hole No. 1, he was to the right of the green and wanted to hit a wedge, but the area was so trampled down by the gallery. His lie was bad, so he took a 6-iron and hit a punch-and-run. The ball went in, and it started his day with a birdie. That kind of got his day off to a start to help him win the Masters. Congratulations Charles because it worked, and it sure was fun to watch!
Steve Kottsick is the pro at Souris Valley Golf Course. This is his final column from the Masters. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.