What does Schwartzel’s win means for American golf?

The Matsters tournament may have been one of the most exciting in history. With so many contenders it was hard to keep track of who was leading at a given time. Rory McIlroy’s collapse showed that experience is perhaps more important than raw talent in a major championship, even if it is just one year of it. His four stroke lead quickly disappeared and he eventually carded a final round 80. At one time it appeared that a playoff was imminent and that it could include several people. It was so busy that even the commentators did not seem to realize what Charl Schwartzel had done until it was all over. Two hole outs early in his round thrust Charl up the leaderboard, but it was what he did at the end of the round that deserves attention. He birdied his final four holes to win the tournament.

As a spectator it is easy to forget just how difficult it is to win a major. These golfers work their entire lives just to get a chance to play in The Masters. To have an opportunity to win is one thing, to seize it is quite a different story. The fact that he was able to birdie his last four holes shows just how far golf has come in the last decade. A sport once dominated by Americans, and more specifically Tiger Woods, is now up for grabs. So many international players are capable of winning the best tournaments on the planet it is hard to pick a favorite on a given week. Players like Tom Watson and Fred Couples have proved that golfers in their 50’s can contend and Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy have shown that youngsters are just as capable. The result is three generations of golfers, from all over the world, competing for a trophy on a weekly basis. It is hard to imagine someone dominating like Tiger Woods did with such a depth of talent.

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