The Loop

After McIlroy's meltdown, Green Jacket up for grabs

April 10, 2011

The poor kid. Rory McIlroy never looked more like a kid: shirttail hanging out, head down, perhaps to hide the tears. This Sunday morning, he led the Masters by four shots. At 5 o'clock, he shared the lead. By 5:30 p.m., he had hit a shot practically into Bobby Jones's old *-

*bedroom, bounced another off a tree en route to a triple-bogey, followed by a three-putt bogey from six feet, a four-putt double, and a tee shot into a creek. Three days of wonder had become a half hour of agony.

So many people were playing so brilliantly that six shared the lead that once seemed so firmly in McIlroy's hands. They were Tiger Woods (of all people), Bo Van Pelt (speaking of all people!), the South African Charl Schwartzel, and three Australians, Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day, and Adam Scott. What had promised to be the coronation of golf's newest star, McIlroy, had become a mob's rush to pick up the crown dropped by the prince in waiting.


Adam Scott has emerged as one of a handful of front-runners. (Photo by Getty Images)

Scott broke clear with a birdie at the difficult 14th, taking a one-shot lead with for holes to play. But victory was far from certain, for if the day's events had proven anything, they had proven that on Sunday at the Masters anything can happen.

--Dave Kindred