Sunday's Superman -- Scheffler or Smith?

Two best players square off, green jacket awaits

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

R1: Tiger on Prowl at Augusta
R2: Scheffler’s Seismic Surge
R4: Scheffler slams door shut, wins first major at Masters

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

AUGUSTA, GA.  Sunday’s final round at the 86th Masters will feature the two best players in 2022 paired together and, in all likelihood, one earning the coveted green jacket symbolic of victory.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith will have ringside seats with one another when the final grouping tees off at 2:40 PM local time. The duo pits the world ranked number one player versus the 6th .

Scheffler scored a one-under-par 71 for the third round and stands at a cumulative score of 207. Smith scored the day’s low round with a four-under-par 68 and is the closest pursuer three shots behind at 210.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

There are other players in the mix with the likes of Sungjae Im (212) and Shane Lowry and Charl Schwartzel sharing fourth place (214). After the first round 18 players were under-par. That number has shrunk to just seven. Corey Connors and Justin Thomas round out the grouping in the red (215).

Blustery conditions and temperatures that said 55 degrees but had a real feel of 10 degrees below that played a significant role in keeping the entire field at bay at numerous key moments. Just nine players scored under-par for the day. The forecast for Sunday indicated milder wind velocities and overall temperatures rising into the low 70s.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

Starting the third round with a five stroke lead it appeared Scheffler would distance himself even further from the field. At one point he commanded a six-shot lead. But, Scheffler found the final few holes difficult while Smith provided the most impactful effort firing the day’s best round with a four-under-par 68.

Scheffler’s once sizeable lead is now just three shots and he is most fortunate because the final few holes Saturday showed certain vulnerabilities that may resurface again during the pressurized moments that come with the final round of any major event. Back-to-back bogies at the 14th and 15th were stabilized with a short birdie putt at the 17th. However, a poor tee shot at the 18th resulted in the necessity of taking a one-shot unplayable penalty but Scheffler minimized the damage in scoring no more than a bogie.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

Smith took advantage of the four par-5 holes with birdies on each. The long blemish on the second nine came when the 28-year-old missed a short par putt at the 16th. 

The 2022 Masters has provided a clear pathway for the next generation of up-and-coming players to make their mark. Scheffler and Smith are part of an ensemble of talented under-30 players who are now on the front row in contesting for the game’s premier events. Players such as 25-year-old Collin Morikawa have already won two majors. 

The page turning from one generation to the next will be on full display when Scheffler and Smith go mano-a-mano in the final round.  Should either accomplish a memorable win — the letter “S” on the Superman cape will mean a similar connection to the famed comic book hero.

The truism that time and tide wait for no man is no less apt at the highest levels of professional golf.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

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PGA Championship R4

By M. James Ward

Masters Minutia

*A victory for Cameron Smith would mean the second Aussie win at the Masters. Fellow countryman Adam Scott was the first with his triumph in 2013. A win at Augusta would also mean Smith matching the feat accomplished by Tiger Woods when he won The Players Championship and Masters in the same year in 2001.

*A victory for Scottie Scheffler would mark his fourth win on the PGA Tour and cement his hold as golf’s number-one-player. Claiming the Masters would also make him the first Texan to win the event since Jordan Spieth did so in 2015.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

*Tiger Woods had an eventful day scoring his highest competitive round in his Masters career with a 78 — including a double-bogey 6 at the final hole. Returning to Augusta after suffering a major car accident in February 2021, Woods endured a balky putter — the most egregious flub coming at the 5th where the 5-time Masters champion did something he’s never done in 23 appearances at Augusta National — four-putt. The pain with the putter went further — four thee-putt greens. The 46-year-old walked gingerly on the hilly grounds with a right leg that is supported by plates, screws and rods.

Nonetheless, Woods will seek to complete 72 holes with today’s round. Few expected him back at this year’s Masters and even fewer thought he would be able to play on the weekend. On that score alone — the week has been another plus for Tiger.

*For this year’s Masters the par-4 11th hole was both lengthened and the championship tee aligned slightly more to the left. A number of trees planted along the right side also altered and slightly opened up the landing area.

The 11th is tied with the par-4 5th for the least number of birdies yielded through three rounds with just 8 made. The hole has also played the hardest relative to par with an average of 4.48.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

*The par-5 15th was also altered for this year’s event. The hole was lengthened to 550 yards and while birdies have still been made it is playing the hardest of the quartet of par-5 holes. There have also been no eagles made on the hole through three rounds and much of that is also tied to the headwind and cooler temperatures players have faced throughout the event. 

*Masters co-founder Bob Jones wanted the event to always provide spots in the field to the top amateur players. At the annual post event awards ceremony, the low amateur completing 72 holes would be duly honored for the accomplishment. None of the six competing made it to the weekend.

Masters 2022 – Scheffler – Smith

86th Masters / 3rd round scores
Augusta National Golf Club

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3Total
1Scottie Scheffler-9696771207
2Cameron Smith-6687468210
3Sungjae Im-4677471212
T4Shane Lowry-2736873214
T4Charl Schwartzel-2726973214
T6Justin Thomas-1766772215
T6Corey Conners-1707372215
8Danny WillettPar697473216
T9Tommy Fleetwood+1757270217
T9Jason Kokrak+1707671217
T9Rory McIlroy+1737371217
T9Collin Morikawa+1737074217
T9Dustin Johnson+1697375217
T14Cameron Champ+2727571218
T14Webb Simpson+2717473218
T14Will Zalatoris+2717275218
T14Hideki Matsuyama+2726977218
T18Viktor Hovland+3727671219
T18Marc Leishman+3737571219
T18Talor Gooch+3727473219
T18Si Woo Kim+3767073219
T18Harry Higgs+3717573219
T18Hudson Swafford+3776973219
T18Lee Westwood+3727473219
T18J.J. Spaun+3747075219
T26Min Woo Lee+4737572220
T26Lucas Glover+4727672220
T26Patrick Reed+4747373220
T26Tony Finau+4717574220
T26Sergio Garcia+4727474220
T26Kevin Kisner+4757075220
T26Matthew Fitzpatrick+4717376220
T26Joaquin Niemann+4697477220
T34Christiaan Bezuidenhout+5737177221
T34Kevin Na+5717179221
T36Seamus Power+6747474222
T36Tom Hoge+6737475222
T36Sepp Straka+6747276222
T36Robert MacIntyre+6737376222
T36Harold Varner III+6717180222
T41Russell Henley+7737476223
T41Daniel Berger+7717577223
T41Jon Rahm+7747277223
T41Tiger Woods+7717478223
T45Max Homa+8747377224
T45Bubba Watson+8737378224
T45Patrick Cantlay+8707579224
T48Mackenzie Hughes+9737577225
T48Tyrrell Hatton+9727479225
50Billy Horschel+10747379226
51Cameron Davis+11757379227
52Adam Scott+12747480228
CUTTakumi Kanaya+57574149
CUTSam Burns+57574149
CUTPadraig Harrington+57475149
CUTKyoung-Hoon Lee+57475149
CUTBrian Harman+57475149
CUTZach Johnson+57475149
CUTLucas Herbert+67476150
CUTJordan Spieth+67476150
CUTBrooks Koepka+67575150
CUTMike Weir+67476150
CUTRyan Palmer+67575150
CUTKeita Nakajima (a)+77279151
CUTAbraham Ancer+77279151
CUTXander Schauffele+77477151
CUTAustin Greaser (a)+77477151
CUTStewart Cink+77675151
CUTErik van Rooyen+87379152
CUTBernhard Langer+87676152
CUTJustin Rose+87676152
CUTGary Woodland+87577152
CUTFrancesco Molinari+87874152
CUTGuido Migliozzi+87577152
CUTLuke List+87775152
CUTFred Couples+107579154
CUTCameron Young+107777154
CUTLarry Mize+117778155
CUTGarrick Higgo+117283155
CUTAaron Jarvis (a)+118174155
CUTJames Piot (a)+118174155
CUTBryson DeChambeau+127680156
CUTSandy Lyle+148276158
CUTVijay Singh+147880158
CUTThomas Pieters+157980159
CUTMatthew Wolff+158178159
CUTStewart Hagestad (a)+167981160
CUTJose Maria Olazabal+177784161
CUTLaird Shepherd (a)+228185166
WDLouis Oosthuizen7676