Scottie beaming up again

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The world No. 1 will doubtless be the favourite to win his third major at the USPGA Championship next month.
Posted on
April 15, 2024
Robert Green in
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Scottie Scheffler won the Masters at Augusta National on Sunday. Of course he did. He was the 4-1 favourite. He had won and placed second in his previous three starts. He looked like he might wobble a bit after a bogey at the 7th but in reality, the only thing that was likely to stop him from winning his second green jacket in three years was a call from his wife, Meredith, to say she was going into labour with their first child – he had said he would walk off the course if that happened.

Given that mobiles are prohibited at Augusta I’m not sure how that was supposed to work, but it didn’t need to. Instead, Scottie birdied three holes in succession from the 8th and for good measure birdied three in four holes from the 13th. He won by four strokes from the precocious Swede, Ludvig Åberg, who was not only playing in the Masters for the first time but this was his first appearance in any major championship.

Scheffler is 27 and right now commandingly the world’s No. 1 golfer. He will doubtless be the favourite to win his third major at the USPGA Championship next month. But there will be events in the meantime. “I am not going to intentionally take my eye off the ball,” he said. “I still love competing. I love winning. I hate losing. But my priorities will change very soon. My son or daughter will be the main priority, along with my wife, so golf will now be probably fourth in line.” As you may be aware, God is also ahead of golf.

Scottie Scheffler wins second Masters title
Jon Rahm (left) puts the green jacket on winner Scottie Scheffler after the 88th Masters (Ashley Landis/AP)

And so yet again Rory McIlroy failed to complete the career Grand Slam. This was his tenth bash at doing so, and it’s now ten years since he last won a major. Having previously played several practice rounds at Augusta in order to prepare for this week, and other times played hardly any, this time he figured “there’s no point in doing anything different this week compared to other weeks”.

He opened with a 71, which wasn’t too shabby even if it was made to look a little like that compared to the 66 compiled by his playing partner – Scheffler. McIlroy shot another 71 on Saturday but unfortunately he’d had a 77 in between . He finished in a tie for 22nd, 15 shots behind Scheffler. He turns 35 next month. Theoretically at least, he has time on his side. The PGA is at Valhalla where he won the title in 2014, which could be a happy augury. But then we said the exact same thing about the Open being at Hoylake last summer.

Also not winning this Masters was Tiger Woods, who has the considerable consolation of having won it five times before. On Friday evening, after rounds of 73-72 left him seven strokes off the pace, he declared: “I am here. [He had just set a record of making 24 successive cuts at the Masters.] I have a chance to win the golf tournament.” For the record, he had only completed one tournament in the past year. Given also that the act of walking had looked the palpable effort it has been ever since his near-fatal car crash in 2021, his confidence sounded misplaced. It was. On Saturday he had two birdies, two double-bogeys and a total of 82. He finished the week on 16 over par, outright dead last of those who completed 72 holes. He turns 50 late next year. Hey, on the Champions Tour he could use a cart!


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About Robert Green

Robert Green is a former editor of Golf World and Golf International magazines and the author of four books on golf, including Seve: Golf’s Flawed Genius. He has played golf on more than 450 courses around the world, occasionally acceptably.

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