The 86th edition of the historic Masters Tournament was held at the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club on April 7th-10th. With all the big names in the sport poised and ready to go, this week was always meant to one for the books. Coming into the week defending champion Hideki Matsuyama had been dealing with injury along with long bomber Bryson DeChambeau. Nevertheless, household names such as Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas seemed to be rounding into form just in time for their favorite tournament of the year. But there was one man who was the outright favorite heading into the week and was undeniably the hottest man in the field having captured three wins in his previous five starts. That would be none other than Scottie Scheffler. It is quite hard to imagine him flying under the radar, but when arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods, makes his first start in a PGA Tour event since his near fatal car crash last February, all the attention is drawn to him. With high winds expected to blow on Thursday and Friday, players made their final preparations on Tuesday and Wednesday putting final touches on certain parts of their games.
Thursday morning brought high winds as expected and much to surprise, Tiger Woods found himself in contention, only four shots back of first round leader Sungjae Im who shot 67 (-5). Also atop the leaderboard was Australian Cameron Smith posting an impressive 68 (-4) which was a round filled with 8 birdies squeezed between two double bogeys on the 1st and 18th hole. World number 1 Scottie Scheffler fired a solid 69 (-3) to situate himself right in the heat of things for the days to come.
Early Friday morning was calm, but it didn’t take long for brutal winds to sweep over the course as gusts up to 25 mph were reported. These winds did more than enough to dry out the playing surface and give the players a firm, fast, and challenging putting surface for the afternoon. The lead was increased to five by none other than world number one Scottie Scheffler after he posted an impressive 67 (-5) to get himself to (-8) total. Following Scottie was a plethora of golfers at (-3). This included former Masters champions Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel, as well as 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry and rising star Sungjae Im. Some notable names to miss the cut included Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka. And to top it all off, joining 51 other players for the weekend was none other than Tiger Woods.
Saturday is often referred to as moving day and that’s exactly what it was in this tournament. Scottie Scheffler improved his total score to (-9) after posting a 71 (-1) allowing himself a 3 shot lead over Cameron Smith who bounced back with a much needed 68 (-4). As much as everyone wanted to see the same Tiger magic we saw just a few years back, it just wasn’t mean to be. Tiger Woods plummeted down the leaderboard with a 78 (+6) and moved completely out of contention. As for the others, they had their moments, but as Saturday progressed, this seemed more and more likely to be a two-man standoff between Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith come Sunday. Sunday morning arrived and as expected, it was a race to the finish line for Scottie Scheffler as he tried mightily to fend off Cameron Smith. Two early birdies for Cam cut the lead to one shot, but a hole out for Scottie on the 3rd hole was all
he needed for the momentum to swing back in his favor. It wasn’t all smooth sailing from this point on as Cam added on birdies at the 7th and 11th holes, but when the players were finished with the walk across Rae’s Creek on the infamous 12th hole, Scottie was the only one smiling. A triple bogey 6 on the 12th from Cam was all the breathing room Scottie needed and from this point on he made it look easy. A flawless final round 64 (-8) from Rory McIlroy to post (-7) total was a little added pressure coming down the stretch, but Scottie proved to be unphased. He strolled in with a 71 (-1) to post (-10) for the tournament, three shots clear of second place. He was crowned champion and was handed his green jacket by previous year’s winner Hideki Matsuyama. Scottie Scheffler has now won four of his last
six tournaments and none more important than this one as he firmly cements himself as the current world number one golfer and etches his name into Masters history.
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