Blast from the past: Hansie’s heroics can’t halt Oz wizardry
Today in SA sports history: April 10
1961 — Gary Player becomes the first non-American to win the US Masters. Player went into the final round leading Arnold Palmer by four strokes, but the South African had to grind out a nail-biting one-shot victory over Palmer and amateur Charles Coe after shooting a final-round 74 for an eight-under-par 280. Coe fired 69 in the fourth round while Palmer carded 71. Player pocketed $20,000. Coe, 37 at the time, never turned professional, and that was his best finish in a major.
1965 — The Springboks are beaten 6-9 by Ireland at Lansdowne Road, their second consecutive defeat en route to what would become a record stretch of seven straight losses a few months later. Centre Wynand Mans scored the Boks’ only try, with flyhalf Dave Stewart adding a penalty.
1993 — South Africa’s soccer team dominate Mauritius for much of their African Nations’ Cup qualifier at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg, but are held to a 0-0 draw. Mauritius, playing for the draw, had one decent shot at goal in the entire match.
1997 — Australia clinch their first one-day series in South Africa as they beat the hosts in Centurion for an unassailable 4-2 lead with one match remaining. But it’s a nail-biting affair. Hansie Cronje (80) and Daryll Cullinan (89) lead SA to 284/7 in their 50 overs. The SA bowlers reduce Australia to 3/58 early on, but then Steve Waugh (89) and Michael Bevan (103) take the match — and the series — away from SA hands. The Australians reach the target with one over remaining.
1999 — Bafana Bafana are beaten 0-1 by Gabon in an African Nations’ Cup qualifier marred by questionable refereeing in Libreville. SA were twice denied what should have been penalties, and disallowed two Bafana goals, one by Benni McCarthy and the other by Shaun Bartlett. Bartlett’s effort went through the netting of the goal, but the referee instead awarded a corner — even though no Gabon player had touched the ball.
2011 — Charl Schwartzel becomes the third South African to win the US Masters. Four shots off the pace at the start of the final round, he fires an impressive 66 after finishing with four consecutive birdies to beat the Australian duo of Jason Day and Adam Scott by two shots with his 14-under-par 274. He earned $1.44m. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy, the third-round leader on 12-under-par, faded after going around the Augusta National in eight over par.