Congratulations to Charl Schwartzel for his victory on Sunday at Augusta National in the first major of the golfing year. It was an amazing climax to the competition with as many as 10 players having a very real chance of walking away with the green jacket as they played the final 9 holes. The lead swung from one player to another with alarming regularity and I would have defied anyone to pick the winner with any degree of certainty with just 45 minutes of play remaining. It was a nail-biting conclusion to the tournament, and as unpredictable as sport should always be.
Sadly, that last round on Sunday also saw the leader at the start of play, Rory McIlroy, explode in spectacular fashion on the back 9. Still leading as he entered those final 9 holes, despite a bit of a wobble on the opening 9, things just went from bad to worse to cataclysmic for Rory as he shot 43 coming home. That included a triple bogey 7 on the 10th hole, followed by 3 putts on the 11th green and an even worse 4 putts on the short 12th hole. The collapse of his game was painful to watch at times, and you had to feel for the lad who at just 21 years of age still has a wonderful future ahead of him. And, I believe, that future will also include major wins if he can harness the brutal experience of Sunday evening and turn it around to his advantage the next time that he finds himself at the sharp end of a Major Sunday. I have every confidence that he will do just that.
The other major event of the weekend was the Grand National, which was won by Ballabriggs on a glorious Saturday afternoon at Aintree. Sadly, his win meant that I lost in the family flutter as my mum somehow managed to pick him out as one of her two selections. I did manage to choose the fourth placed horse, but that’s little consolation when you are being fleeced by your own mum!! :-)
It’s back to the Champions League this week as the semi-final line-up is decided, and it’s looking like there will be 2 Spanish teams, 1 English and 1 German – but maybe an upset will still occur. As always, you never know until the final whistle.
Til next time!