Augusta, Ga. – Scotty Schaffler holds Rock steadily and earns the coveted ‘green jacket’ for a three-shot win at the Sunday Masters and cemented his reputation as the world’s top golfer.
From winning his first Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour event at the Phoenix Open just two months ago to claiming his first major title at Augusta National, Schlefer’s rise was nothing short of a meteorite.
Starting the final round with a three-shot advantage over Australian Cameron Smith, the 25-year-old American 10-under 278 made one-under 71 cards for a total, three ahead of Rory McIlroy and five ahead of Smith.
McIlroy’s eight-under 64 matched the Masters final round record as the Northern Irishman charged a sensational delay in claiming the elusive title that would see him complete a career grand slam.
Schaefler said he could afford to focus on his own game for his three-shot cushion.
“It simply came to our notice then. It’s a difficult day, “said Scheffler.
“I was lucky to be in a position where I was in control of the tournament today, so I didn’t have to worry about what anyone else was doing.
“If I had taken care of my belongings and played good solid golf, I thought I’d get the job done.”
The first major of the year was ready for a showdown at Sheffield, one of the two hottest golfers on the planet, the winner of three of his last five PGA Tour starts, and Smith, who claimed the unofficial fifth major of golf at the Players Championship in March.
And this is how the final round is unveiled till 3-12M In the heart of the infamous Amen Corner, Smith dropped his T-shot on the way to the triple bogey six, dropping him to the leaderboard.
“It’s a really bad swing,” Smith said. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s just unfortunate, but I’ll be bigger and stronger than that. “
A troubled Smith never recovered, scoring 73 in one over and falling third to tie with Irishman Shane Lori, who closed with 69 runs.
With back-to-back birdies, Smith got off to a great start.
But Sheffler hit third with a superb chip-in birdie, which Smith boogieed, restoring the cushion of the world’s number three shot.
Smith fell into the second carriage at three-fourths, and suddenly Schaefler extended his lead to four.
When the pair started the Back Nine, a powerful roar spread across the Augusta National after McIlroy hit an eagle card at 13.M To reach the six-under for the tournament.
This put McIlroy five behind Schaefler and one behind Smith, increasing pressure on the pair as they enter Amen Corner – holes 11, 12 and 13, probably the most famous stretch of golf real estate where many masters have won and lost.
“I’ve led the back nine here and haven’t been able to get it done,” McIlroy said. “I just wanted to try and put a little pressure and I think I did.”
At 11, Smith’s long birdie putt caused a burst of excitement that could be heard back home in Brisbane.
But then 12 cameMWhere many dreams of green jackets have turned into nightmares, Smith has now found his T-shot water in them.
“The lead creation was definitely nice,” Sheffler said. “Nothing is safe in the nine behind this golf course.
“I’ve heard everyone say, it doesn’t start until nine o’clock on Sunday, anything can happen, don’t hit the water at 12, all things.
“I blocked most of it and tried to run and hit good golf shots.”
Sheffler showed no sign of nerves at the very end, standing at 18M Green and two small putts are missing which will give him a big margin of victory.
“I don’t want any pressure at the end of the day,” Scheffler said. “I didn’t break my concentration until we got green at 18.
“Once we got green, I think, OK, I’m going to enjoy it, and have some fun with it.” – Reuters