Sublime Scheffler wins second Masters title

Final round 

Scottie Scheffler lived up to his billing as pre-tournament favourite at The Masters by securing a second win in three years with a four-shot victory at Augusta National.

Scheffler took a one-shot advantage into the final day and held at least a share of the lead throughout a tense Sunday, where multiple players threatened major victory before all fading away on the back nine to give the world No 1 control of the tournament.

The 2022 champion recovered from a slow start to fire three consecutive birdies around the turn and added three more in a four-hole stretch on his way to a brilliant four-under 68, seeing him finish on 11 under and follow wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players this season.

Ludvig Åberg marked his major debut with a stunning runner-up finish, carding a three-under 69 to end on seven under, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood ending in a share of third with Max Homa and Collin Morikawa.

Åberg enjoyed a memorable debut major appearance.

Rory McIlroy’s latest bid to complete the career Grand Slam ended in a tied-22nd finish and Jon Rahm shared 45th spot in his disappointing title defence, as Tiger Woods marked his 100th competitive round at The Masters by finishing bottom of those making the cut.

Scheffler scrambled pars on both of his first two holes then splashed out of the sand at the short par-four third to make a close-range birdie, briefly putting him two clear, only to go long of the green off the tee at the par-three fourth and fail to get up and down.

Åberg birdied two of his opening seven holes and Homa bounced back from a bogey at the seventh to take advantage of the par-five next, which briefly made it four-way tie at the top when Scheffler could save par from the sand at the par-four seventh.

Scheffler bounced back to pick up a shot at the next to match the birdie of playing partner Morikawa, who lost his share of the lead when he took two attempts out of the sand on his way to a double-bogey at the ninth.

Collin Morikawa suffered costly double bogeys to derail his charge.

A three-shot swing there saw Scheffler almost hole his second shot and leave himself a tap-in, with a 10-foot birdie to start the second nine doubling his advantage over Åberg, before several of the leader’s closest challengers began continued to lose ground.

Morikawa double-bogeyed the 11th, Homa double-bogeyed the 12th and Åberg found the water to find the same score at the 11th, where Scheffler missed from 10 feet to save par but saw his lead increase to three shots with seven to play.

Scheffler two-putted the par-five 13th and fired his approach close at the next to post back-to-back birdies and stay three ahead of Åberg, who also picked up shots on both holes, while a superb tee shot into the par-three 16th set up another birdie to extend his cushion.

Åberg made pars on each of his last four holes to secure solo second, as Scheffler two-putted the par-four 17th and got up and down at the last to complete an emotional victory – his ninth in 26 months on the PGA Tour.

Scheffler was in cruise control by the time he left amen corner.

Homa made a penultimate-hole bogey and Morikawa produced an impressive sand save to get away with one dropped shot at the last, having had to pitch out from the trees after an errant tee shot, with Fleetwood completing the group tied-third after a bogey-free final day.

Bryson DeChambeau secured his place in next year’s field after finishing tied-sixth, with the top-12 earning an invite to the 2025 contest, with fellow LIV Golf member Tyrrell Hatton doing the same after a three-under 69 took him to a share of ninth.

McIlroy’s final-round 73 contained three birdies and four bogeys, leaving him 15 strokes behind the champion, while Woods followed a major-worst 82 on Saturday by carding a five-over 77 on the final day to finish the week on 16 over.

The next men’s major is the PGA Championship at Valhalla from May 16-19, the venue where McIlroy claimed his most recent major title, where Scheffler will hope to add to his major tally.

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