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Home / News / Sublime Scheffler makes it two Masters in three years

Sublime Scheffler makes it two Masters in three years

Scottie Scheffler fully justified his status as pre-tournament favourite with a nerveless second Masters title in the space of three years at Augusta National.

The world number one carded a closing 68 to finish 11 under par and four shots clear of Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and Max Homa three strokes further back.

Scheffler held his nerve as his rivals stumbled around Amen Corner and responded magnificently when Aberg kept the pressure on, the 24-year-old again demonstrating his enormous potential on his major debut.

Aberg only turned professional in June last year, but quickly won on the DP World Tour, helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup in Rome – including a 9&7 win with Viktor Hovland over Scheffler and Brooks Koepka – and also tasted victory on the PGA Tour before the end of the season.

Scheffler has been in equally brilliant form in 2024, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots and becoming the first player to secure back-to-back Players Championship titles seven days later.

That meant the 27-year-old had been made favourite for the Masters at the the kind of odds previously only offered for peak-era Tiger Woods and he duly took a one-shot lead into the final round.

A birdie on the third quickly doubled that advantage, but dropped shots on the fourth and seventh left Scheffler in a three-way tie for the lead with playing partner Morikawa and Aberg.

Homa’s birdie on the eighth made it a four-way tie, but dramatic and decisive changes were just around the corner.

Scheffler was inches away from spinning his approach to the ninth into the hole for an eagle and tapped in for the easiest of birdies, while Morikawa took two to escape from a greenside bunker to run up a double bogey.

Scheffler also birdied the 10th and was gifted some welcome breathing space when Aberg pulled his second to the 11th into the water to card a costly double bogey, an error repeated minutes later by Morikawa.

Scheffler failed to take full advantage as he also dropped a shot, but then saw another contender fall away as Homa was forced to take a penalty drop from bushes behind the 12th green.

Aberg refused to throw in the towel and birdied the 13th and 14th to seemingly keep the pressure on, only for the unflappable Scheffler to birdie the same holes, his approach to the 14th spinning down to tap-in range.

Another birdie on the 16th put the result beyond doubt and unlike in 2022, this time there would be no careless four putts on the 18th green.

Woods had finished his round an hour before the final pairing of Scheffler and Morikawa teed off, his 100th round at the Masters beginning after enlisting the help of his son Charlie.

Charlie was pictured seemingly giving his dad some swing tips on the practice range at Augusta National, advice even a 15-time major champion may have welcomed following a demoralising third round of 82.

That was the 48-year-old’s worst score in the Masters by four shots and meant an early tee time on Sunday alongside Neal Shipley, the only amateur to make the cut.

Woods started in style with a 360-yard drive on the par-five second to help set up a straightforward birdie, but ran up a triple bogey seven on the fifth and eventually signed for a 77 to finish last of the 60 players to make the cut.

Woods had previously targeted playing one tournament a month this year, with the remaining majors – the US PGA, US Open and Open Championship – the obvious targets.

“This is a golf course I knew going into it so I’ve got to do my homework going forward at Valhalla and Pinehurst and Troon, but that’s kind of the game-plan,” Woods said.

“I heard there were some changes at the next couple of sites so I’ve got to get up there early and check them out.”

Rory McIlroy (above) carded a closing 73 to finish in a tie for 22nd on his 10th attempt to complete the career grand slam, with defending champion Jon Rahm a distant 45th following a final round of 76.

A deflated McIlroy was almost at a loss for words after his 10th bid to win the Masters and complete a career grand slam came to a tame end.

The Down golfer finished four over par, just as the final groups were heading into the back nine.

“I mean, I don’t really know what to say,” the world number two said.

“Just sort of felt like my game was OK and managed it pretty well, but obviously Friday was a really tough day, and losing five shots sort of put me in a pretty difficult position going into the weekend.

“Then the conditions were pretty tough. The greens are crusty and firm and hard to get the ball super close and hard to make a ton of birdies.

“Once you get seven or eight back going into the weekend here, it’s hard to make up that ground.”

Asked to sum up his emotions, McIlroy added: “I guess it’s more the same of what I’ve shown this year. It’s not as if it’s been a down week in comparison to the way I’ve been playing.

“It’s just a matter of me trying to get my game in a bit better shape going towards the rest of the season.

“I need to take a little bit of time and reflect on this week and what I did well, what I didn’t do so well, and sort of try to make a plan for the next few months, especially from here going through obviously the end of July.

“Major season, they’re going to come thick and fast, so hopefully get myself in a bit better form for those last three.”

A final round 74 saw Shane Lowry finish on eight over in a tie for 46th. Not the weekend the Offaly man wanted, but he was not unhappy with his game overall. His putter let him down if anything.

“I played all right golf throughout the week, just made a lot of bogeys, a lot of bogeys. No big mistakes, nothing disastrous, just a lot of bogeys.

“Yeah, I just didn’t really hole my par putts when I needed to. When you do that early on around this course, you get behind the black ball, and it was just tough.”

He continued: “I think I’m thereabouts, I know that. I know that going forward over the summer I’ve played some good golf over the last few months, and I still have some good golf in me.

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