What happened to Rory McIlroy at the 2011 Masters Tournament?

The 2011 Masters Tournament was staged, as it always is, at the Augusta National Golf Club between April 7 and April 10, 2011. In search of his first major championship, Rory McIlroy shot 65, 69 and 70 in his first three rounds for a 12-under-par total of 204 for 54 holes. He held a four-stroke advantage entering the final round but, having played the front nine in one over par, led by just a single stroke from Charl Schwartzel, Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods at halfway.

The 21-year-old Ulsterman started to falter on the 495-yard, par-4 tenth hole, where he snap hooked his drive deep into the pines, barely 150 yards from the tee, and he could only pitch out sideways. His approach shot missed the green, again to the left, and finished at the foot of a steep bank, with trees between the ball and the pin. His fourth shot struck a branch and ricocheted short of the putting surface and he took three more to get down, walking off with a triple-bogey seven.

McIlroy went from first to tied seventh in one fell swoop, but worse was to follow as he headed into Amen Corner. He found the green at the initimidating 505-yard, par-4 eleventh hole in regulation, but three-putted from seven feet for a bogey. On the 155-yard, par-3 twelfth hole, he four-putted from 10 feet for a double-bogey, thereby dropping six shots in three holes and effectively ending his challenge for the Green Jacket.

On the relatively short, 510-yard, par-5 thirteenth, McIlroy again drove left, into Rae’s Creek, and buried his face in his arms, on the verge of tears. He escaped with a par, but dropped another shot at another ‘friendly’ scoring hole, the 530-yard, par-5 fifteenth, and eventually finished with an eight-over-par 80. His 72-hole total of 284 was only good enough for fifteenth place, 10 shots behind the eventual winner, Charl Schwartzel.

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