scottie scheffler

The last hurdle, when Scheffler required four putts from 40 feet to win his first major, was the only one, and it only had an impact on the record books.

Rory McIlroy, who holed out from the bunker on the last hole for a record-tying final round of 64, had the tiniest glimmer of hope that Scheffler may buckle under the strain on Sunday at Augusta National before he finished with a 1-under 71 to win by three shots.

None at all. On Sunday, not. No, the previous four days. not in the previous two months.

In order to increase his commanding lead in the standings, Scheffler earned another 600 FedExCup points.

And to think that Scheffler was still seeking his first PGA TOUR triumph only 56 days ago. The 25-year-old from Dallas, who has been groomed for fame since he was a 10-year-old dressed like a pro in long trousers, has already claimed four victories in his previous six competitions.

The green jacket was the best reward of all.

The spectacular and terrible Sunday theater belonged to everyone else. By adding a chip for a birdie early in the round, Scheffler survived a tense time. He made crucial putts to hold Cameron Smith at bay and never showed signs of stress, even when he was smashing at last-second short putts.

McIlroy came in second. Smith felt as if he had let one slip by. When the Australian hit his tee shot into Rae’s Creek on the par-3 12th hole for triple bogey and ruined his chances, he was still in the game and three strokes behind the lead.

Shane Lowry, who birdied the 18th for a 69, and Smith, who finished with a 73, were tied for third.

The Masters was won by Scheffler and Ian Woosnam in 1991, making them the first players to do so while making their debut at No. 1 in the world.

Everyone ought to have anticipated this. On Super Bowl Sunday, he prevailed in a playoff to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Arnold Palmer Invitational was won by him at Bay Hill after a comeback victory there. By winning the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two weeks ago in Texas, he ascended to No. 1 in the world.

scottie scheffler

Then came this.

Scheffler took home $2.7 million from the $15 million prize pool after finishing a 10-under 278. His cumulative earnings over his previous six races are at $8,872,200.

Early in the round was when Scheffler’s big moment occurred, and it was no less important.

With a three-shot advantage going into the final round, he watched as Smith made two consecutive birdies to narrow the margin to one. Then, Scheffler’s approach ball from the rough left of the third fairway missed the mark and rolled back down the hill.

When his pitch slammed into the pin and fell for an improbable birdie, it gave him a two-shot swing when Smith made par from the same position.

Scottie Scheffler Short Highlights

The rest of the way, nobody came any closer than three. Only the contestants were altered.

The par-3 12th hole, which has seen more collapses than recoveries, continues to be the most exciting in all of golf. Smith was the most recent casualty.

At the eleventh hole, after making a birdie, he let go of his club while his shot was still in the air, gently closing his eyes twice as it splashed into Rae’s Creek. Smith’s aspirations were dashed by a triple bogey on the next stroke, which wasn’t much better but was at least dry.

As he stood on the 12th tee, he was three shots behind. After three holes, he was eight shots behind.

Any last hope then belonged to McIlroy. He just needed Scheffler’s assistance and to equal the best Masters final round ever for him to complete the career Grand Slam. Only one of them was awarded to him, therefore he was forced to accept his first silver medal from Augusta.

That doesn’t mean he didn’t work some Sunday magic. On the 18th hole, McIlroy played bunker to bunker, leaving himself right of the green and aiming around 25 feet right of the flag. One of the greatest roars of the week was produced as it rode the hill all the way into the hole.

McIlroy could only chuckle when Morikawa followed him in from the same bunker but from a different position.

McIlroy stated, “This event never fails to surprise. That right there is the happiest I’ve ever been on a golf course. I was just so delighted for him, too, to get an opportunity and then to play so well all day with Collin, and to end like this.

“On the 18th green, I’ve never heard roars like that.”

Scheffler received the top ones.

Scheffler still had five holes to go, and there was no indication that he would be anything other than the composed, astute player who took charge on Friday in the most trying circumstances to establish a five-shot lead and never relinquish it.

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