AUGUSTA, Ga. — The No. 1 golfer in the world has won the No. 1 major in the sport. Scottie Scheffler dominated the final three rounds of the 2022 Masters en route to a green jacket, record $2.7 million payout and further enshrinement as the hottest golfer on the planet, carding a 10-under 278 to win his first career major on Sunday.
Scheffler became the fifth golfer to enter Augusta National ranked No. 1 in the world and go on to win the Masters, joining Ian Woosnam (1991), Fred Couples (1992), Tiger Woods (2001-02) and Dustin Johnson (2020).
The victory was his fourth on the PGA Tour this season, making him the first golfer since Arnold Palmer in 1960 — and only the second ever — to win as many events including the Masters in that span of time to begin a season, according to Justin Ray.
Scheffler is on such a heater that he actually won all four of those PGA Tour events in just a 57-day span, marking the shortest stretch from a first to fourth victory in PGA Tour history. This after failing to claim a victory in his first 70 events on the PGA Tour.
The Masters champion was tremendous all week. He put himself in contention immediately with a 69 in Round 1 and took a five-stroke lead through 36 holes by posting a 67 in Round 2. Though he did slip Saturday with a 71, ceding some of the ground he had gained to Cameron Smith, it was Scheffler who stood strong and slightly increased his advantage while Smith fell off Sunday.
Smith put significant pressure on Scheffler early, cutting his deficit to a single stroke on the second hole after consecutive birdies to open Round 4. However, Smith bogeyed the 3rd as Scheffler made a shot so remarkable that it may not have cemented his victory but nevertheless gave his championship push new life.
After finding the pine needles with his second shot on the 3rd, Scheffler failed to get his ball up the hill and onto the green. It was shaping up as a likely par and potential bogey. Instead, Scheffler holed out with authority in what many will call the shot of the tournament.
In fact, Scheffler’s greatest test came not from Smith but Rory McIlroy as the four-time major winner put together one of the best Sunday rounds in Masters history as he hoped to finally break through with a green jacket and career grand slam. McIlroy posted an 8-under 64, matching the lowest Sunday round in Masters history, to take the clubhouse lead at 7 under for the tournament. Smith finished 1 over for the day and 5 under for the tournament.
Scheffler would not be deterred. He was nails down the stretch with consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-15 to push his lead to five and remove any doubt that he would claim this Masters — and the 2022 golf season — for himself. While his confidence never wavered, nerves undoubtedly affected him on the 18th green as Scheffler ran makable 7-foot par and 5-foot bogey putts past the hole.
Scheffler took a breath, listened to the patrons lifting him up with chants of “Sco-ttie, Sco-ttie” and sank his 3-foot double bogey putt to finish 1 under for the round, 10 under for the tournament and as the latest man to be sized for a green jacket in Augusta.
Courtesy – CBS Sports