Masters 2024: Scottie Scheffler earns second Green Jacket at Augusta National

Home » Masters 2024: Scottie Scheffler earns second Green Jacket at Augusta National
Masters 2024 final leaderboard
-11 Scheffler (US); -7 Aberg (Swe); -4 Morikawa (US), Homa (US), Fleetwood (Eng); -2 DeChambeau (US), Smith (Aus)
Selected others:Level Hatton (Eng), +4 McIlroy (NI), Fitzpatrick (Eng); +9 Rahm (Spa), Willett (Eng); +16 Woods (US)

World number one Scottie Scheffler won the Masters for a second time after a commanding performance at Augusta National demonstrated why he was the red-hot pre-tournament favourite.

Scheffler, who led overnight by a shot, hit a four-under 68 in Sunday’s final round to finish four clear on 11 under.

Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg shot 69 to finish runner-up on his major debut.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood (69) ended joint third with American pair Collin Morikawa (74) and Max Homa (73).

Fleetwood put together an impressive round to make a late charge up the leaderboard and record his best finish at the Masters.

But catching Scheffler was out of reach. The 27-year-old American showed rare emotion on the 18th green as he received the acclaim of the Augusta patrons after wrapping up his second Masters victory in three years.

There had been a possibility the 2022 champion might not even complete the final round.

Scheffler’s wife Meredith is due to give birth to their first child and the Texan said on Saturday he was prepared to leave Augusta mid-round if she went into labour on Sunday.

Addressing his wife during the Green Jacket presentation ceremony, Scheffler said: “I love you and I’m coming home. I’ll be home as quick as I can.”

He added: “I can’t put into words what it is like to win here again and what it will be like to become a father for the first time.”

Scheffler justifies his standing as rivals falter

Not since Tiger Woods dominated golf in the 2000s had anybody arrived at Augusta as strong a favourite as Scheffler.

He came into the first major of the year on the back of two victories in his three previous tournaments – at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship – and a second-place finish at the Houston Open.

That imperious form, combined with his pedigree as a previous Masters champion, meant his odds were as short as 4-1 at the start of the week.

While not hitting the expected heights on the opening three days, particularly during an eventful round on Saturday where he recovered from several mistakes, he still led by a shot going into Sunday.

However, he lacked distance control with his irons in the opening holes and a bogey on the seventh dropped him back alongside Morikawa and Aberg. Homa joined them in a four-way tie for the lead after a birdie on the eighth.

But Scheffler – playing alongside Morikawa in the group behind Aberg and Homa – birdied the same hole to lead again on seven under.

Then came a moment of magic which felt like a potential turning point – and proved to be so.

Scheffler almost holed a magnificent 89-yard approach on the ninth, demonstrating sublime skill to spin the ball and use Augusta’s contours to roll it towards the pin – leaving himself with a tap-in for back-to-back birdies.

Scheffler added a third successive birdie on the 10th but as the leaders approached Amen Corner – the famed section of the course featuring the 11th, 12th and 13th holes – it was still too close to call.

However, by the time he teed off on the short 12th, it was his tournament to lose.

His nearest rivals – Aberg, Morikawa and Homa – all picked up costly double bogeys in the space of about 15 minutes, handing a three-shot lead to Scheffler even though he had bogeyed the 11th.

Aberg and Morikawa both pulled their approaches on the 11th into the water, while a bad bounce for Homa on the iconic par-three 12th left him in the bushes and taking a one-shot penalty.

From that point, Scheffler could relax more and birdies on 13, 14 and 16 all but clinched victory.

Aberg’s hopes of becoming the third man to win on his first start in a major were over, but he finished second after recovering with birdies on 13 and 14.

The composed 24-year-old, who only turned professional 10 months ago, was described as a “generational talent” by European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald before helping Europe beat the US in Rome last September.

He is admired for his clean ball-striking and showed this weekend why he is expected to challenge regularly for the majors.

Fleetwood sparkles as McIlroy sees another chance pass

The progress of the players from the UK and Northern Ireland had been rather underwhelming, but 33-year-old Fleetwood remained patient and was rewarded with a top-10 finish.

In reality, Fleetwood needed a better round to put himself into serious contention but played solidly to leave him feeling optimistic going into next month’s US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

“I guess I needed a few more fireworks. But the golf course wasn’t giving much away,” said Fleetwood, who made his eighth appearance at the Masters.

“Who knows if my time will ever come, but all I can do is keep trying to put myself there and having performances like this.”

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was unable to finish with a flurry as his 10-year wait for the major title which evades him continued.

The 34-year-old won four majors between 2011 and 2014 – twice at the PGA Championship, plus the Open Championship and US Open – but was never in contention as he looked to become only the sixth man to complete the career grand slam.

McIlroy struggled in the testing conditions as he opened with rounds of 71, 77 and 71, carding a final 73 to finish well adrift at four over.

“It hasn’t been my year but I’ll keep coming back until it is my year,” he said.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton was level par after a final-day 69, while Matt Fitzpatrick ended four over and 2016 champion Danny Willett, playing in his first tournament since having shoulder surgery in September, faded from a good start to finish nine over.

Woods and Rahm struggle despite support

Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods finished last of the 60 players who made the cut to play all four rounds, shooting a five-over 77 to finish 16 over in total.

Even making the weekend was an achievement for the 15-time champion, who had barely played in the past year as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a car crash in February 2021.

However, packed galleries followed Woods around the scene of some of his most famous triumphs, with patrons roaring him off the final green and hoping they will get many more chances to see the 48-year-old at Augusta in the future.

Defending champion Jon Rahm was already out of contention and things got even worse as he recorded his highest total in eight appearances at the Masters.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, who has made a shock switch to the breakaway LIV Golf tour since his victory last year, shot a 76 and finished nine over.

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