AUGUSTA | In his wildest dreams, Scottie Scheffler would never have thought to climb to the 72nd pennant of the Augusta National with a five stroke lead at the Masters Tournament. Never. Yet this is what he realized, in an alarming calm, on Sunday.
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While the birding machine at his side, Cameron Smith, was jammed in this final round, the 25-year-old American sailed “peacefully” to victory.
Scottie Scheffler got the kiss of victory when his wife, Meredith, joined him at the 18th pennant.
The best golfer in the world has put on the coveted green jacket in his world and thus savored his first major conquest. And not the least.
He grabbed the lead on Friday without ever losing it afterward. Despite the difficult weather conditions, a tricky course and the pushes of his opponents, Scheffler stood out from the crowd by maintaining his composure.
A green jacket and the champion’s trophy for Scottie Scheffler at the Masters Tournament which ended in Augusta on Sunday.
Flanked by his caddie Ted Scott, the same who had accompanied Bubba Watson during his conquests of 2012 and 2014, he aligned four rounds under par. Sunday, with a card of 71 (-1), he completed what none of his rivals did.
And had it not been for a blunder caused by nervousness in the importance of the moment on the 18and green, he would have played 69 (-3) keeping his priority of five strokes.
“The only thing I would have imagined in my dreams was this walk towards this 18and green. I’ve seen several guys do it. The first that comes to mind is Jordan’s. [Spieth] in 2015 with a huge lead, ”said the champion in a press conference as relaxed as he was.
“Over the course of the day, I managed to create a good lead, continued the one who always knew how to keep a gap of at least three shots, especially on the return.
“I especially didn’t want to experience any stress towards the end of the day. I didn’t want to break my concentration before climbing on this 18and and last green. Once there, I wanted to enjoy the moment and have fun. »
Pleasure he had! Because he made four rolls from about twenty feet. He circled around the cut missing two short putts. The crowd cheered him on and his younger brother gave him two pats on the back so that he could complete the task without stress. With his good face and his good humor, taking the wacky scene with humor, he finally saw his ball disappear at the bottom of the cup. This is his fourth victory in his last six outings.
“I honestly don’t know what to say. I did well to forge a good lead. Nothing is guaranteed on this course, especially on the return on Sunday. I had heard the saying,” he recalled.
From the 12th tee, Scottie Scheffler started with confidence.
This one correctly claims that the Masters is only just beginning on the back nine on Sunday afternoon.
“We know that anything can happen. We have seen it. I didn’t want my ball to fall in the water at 12andhe said of the par-3 at the heart of Amen Corner, a place where the hopes of so many golfers have been dashed.
“I wanted to block all his thoughts and execute my shots as I am able, explained the one who wanted to remain patient and trust himself in this adventure. »
“It’s fun to fight in competition. I enjoyed those days on the course even though they weren’t easy. Once you’re up and running, it’s fantastic. »
“Off the course, it is all the more difficult. I tried to lay down and get some sleep on the eve of this final round. At this tournament, it’s frankly not easy to hold the lead. All the pros want to win it. »
Often in the shadows, the caddy plays a leading role in a golfer’s success. Scheffler did not miss the opportunity to thank his accomplice Ted Scott at the end of the final round.
Sunday morning, putting his foot out of bed, Scheffler broke down. Suddenly, he no longer knew how to handle the pressure and what awaited him. His wife, Meredith, supported him by resonating with him, cooking him a gargantuan lunch and then showing him the way.
“I understood that it was my moment. It really was, he said with emotion. Once in the field, I really had fun. »
The one who participated in a third Masters resisted the pressure while his Australian playmate started on the hats with two birdies. Scheffler replied with two sparrows before advancing on the return.
Smith tried to keep up the pace, but a ball was dropped on 12andGolden Bell, dashed all his hopes. Rory McIlroy then beat him.
Scheffler cemented his lead with birdies at 14and and 15and pennants before finishing with a double bogey at 18and.
With a -10 record, he edged McIlroy by three shots and Shane Lowry and Smith by five.
Next year, the Masters Tournament will be held from April 6-9. Until then, the next Grand Slam awaits us in a month, at Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the PGA Championship of America May 19-22.
Rory McIlroy put on quite a show on Sunday at the Masters Tournament.
AUGUSTA | We were expecting a battle with birdies and possibly eagles between Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith in the final round of the Masters on Sunday. Instead, it was Rory McIlroy who spiced up the show with a frenzied performance.
And the word is weak.
With several brilliant shots, Rory recorded a 64 (-8) card as he moved up in sixth gear to second place in the main draw.
This final score, his career best at Augusta, equals the record of seven golfers. Only two golfers have shot 63 in history.
Nick Price had it in the third round of the 1986 edition while Greg Norman had done it in the first round in 1996. “The Great White” then collapsed on Sunday…
By orchestrating his spectacular comeback, the Northern Irishman became the only golfer this week to deliver a bogey-free card.
“It’s definitely my best round in a year and probably one of my best in a major championship,” said the 32-year-old golfer.
Verification made according to his PGA Tour record, this 64 comes second among his best Grand Slam performances. At the 2010 British Open in St. Andrews, he recorded a 63.
Sunday, not only did he amass six sparrows and an eagle in his walk on Augusta National by applying an aggressive game plan, but he also saved important pars. At 11andfrom a tricky position on the edge of the green, he saved the furniture with a 10-foot putt.
A success that allowed him to maintain his hellish pace and set the table for his eagle on the par 5 of the 13and. He executed three perfect shots there. And his playmate Collin Morikawa too. The two had a blast as the American shot 67 (-5) and moved up to fifth.
They saved one of the best moments of the day for the 18and. In front of more than ten thousand “bosses” gathered around the green on a splendid sunny afternoon, Rory made an impeccable pit exit. His ball rolled slowly and disappeared into the bottom of the cup. Both the spectators and him exploded with joy.
A few minutes later, from the same pit, Morikawa followed suit, causing the crowd to jump again.
“I landed some great shots, but I’m especially proud of the delicate little moments that I managed to control. There are putts or hits that don’t show up in the highlights, but are very important. They help keep the pace. »
And by adding up each of these small successes, McIlroy says he believed in his chances. At least he was able to put some pressure on the leader late in the afternoon by finishing at -7. At 13anda small gap of only four strokes separated them.
Because Cameron Smith could not get there by collapsing in the last group. The Australian delivered a card of 73 (+1) by slipping to third place tied with Shane Lowry, at -5.
From McIlroy pars to 15and and 16and pennants, favorite spots for birdies, however, dashed his hopes. Scheffler was in full control of his means.
McIlroy had his share of disappointments leaving Augusta National, including in 2011, 2015 and 2018, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday.
“I will never leave as happy as I am now. I played really well and this is my best result here. It’s not enough for a win, but that day will forever be in my memory. »