The Masters: Scottie Scheffler wins first major

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FINAL LEADERBOARD -10 Scheffler; -7 McIlroy; -5 Lowry, Smith; -4 Morikawa; -3 Zalatoris, Conners; -1 Thomas, Im. SELECTED OTHERS +3 MacIntyre; +13 Woods.

Six weeks ago he hadn’t won on the PGA Tour. Now, Scottie Scheffler is a Masters champion.

The 25-year-old capped an incredible two months by breaking his major duck, his fourth win in his last six starts.

He is the second sitting world No.1 to win The Masters in the last three years, Dustin Johnson claiming a COVID-delayed victory in 2020.

Scheffler’s win came in his first start since moving to the top of the rankings, emulating the feat of Ian Woosnam in 1991.

“I always just dream of being here and competing,” Scheffler said in the Butler Cabin.

“I can’t put into words that I will be able to come here for a lifetime. I am at a loss for words.”

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The victory was not with some challenges along the way. Cameron Smith’s star briefly shone on Sunday before fading at Amen Corner.

Rory McIlroy heaped pressure on with the joint-lowest final round in Masters history, going from one-over to seven-under to give himself a fighting chance of finally completing the career grand slam he so desperately craves.

If he had not struggled earlier in the week, he might have done it. But Scheffler was a deserving champion.

There were many moments to enjoy. The chip-in birdie at the third was remarkable, as were approaches to seven and 14 to set up birdies. Nerves of steel were required to take on the long 15th in two and it paid off with another gain.

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Scheffler could be forgiven for allowing his mind to wander as he led by five with two to play, thoughts of the Green Jacket no doubt pervading his mind as he pushed his tee shot on 17. But even then he was able to recover to make par and lead by five going up the last.

It would have taken a colossal collapse for him to release the jacket from his grip on the 18th and, until he reached the green, it never looked likely. Four putts, three of them from within as many feet, led to an unlikely double – but that five-shot lead meant it did not matter a bit.

“I am glad I had that hiccup as it made me less emotional,” Scheffler quipped.

“I was fortunate to have put myself in a position where I was in control. If I took care of my stuff and played good solid golf then I could get the job done.”





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