Scott Schaefler has confirmed his position as the world’s top male golfer by winning three shots to win The Masters for four days in August.
The 25-year-old American fired a closing 71, missing two short putts for a double bogie at 18, finishing 10 under par and claiming an alluring green jacket.
The 25-year-old American cleared three shots from Rory McIlroy, who fired eight-under-par-64 shots to rise to the leaderboard on Sunday. Sadly it was too late for the Northern Irishman, even a perforated bunker shot at the end would not stop his frustration as it was not well placed after three rounds.
Australia’s Cameron Smith, playing in the final pairing with Sheffler, finished 73rd in the final round and finished third under Shane Lori with five.
Schaefler held a three-shot lead overnight and continued his recent dominance with another commanding performance in Sunday’s final round. The highlight was a stunning chip-in birdie in the third, which turned the momentum back in his favor after Smith narrowed the gap to the first two hole birdies with just one shot.
Smith, also bidding for the first major title, kept the pressure on the next half-dozen holes, firing a birdie to close the gap between the 7th and the hard-hitting 11 at three. However, the Players’ Championship winner saw a chance to sink a rock-like glory with a triple bogey in the 12th par-three, where a diagonal tee shot found water and his vision turned green with his second ball.
Schaefler added three birdies at 14 and 15, leaving three holes to extend his lead in five shots, and with a purse and 16 and 17, he moved to the final hole with a large cushion. An understandably nervous four-put finish wound up his winning margin, but there is no doubt that Sheffler was a worthy winner in the 21 birdies he fired in one week.
“I tried to shoot with my head down. I knew if I took care of my stuff and played hard, I would get the job done, “said Sheffler, who has now won four of his last six tournaments. “I’m glad I finally missed those putts because that means I’m not too emotional.”
For the full score from the 85th Masters, click here.
Scottie Scheffler’s winning gear
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus + (8)
Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth (16.5 °, set 15)
Driving Iron: Srixon ZU85 (3)
Iron: Srixon ZX7 (4), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)
Bottom: Titlelist Vokey SM8 (50 °, 56, 60)
Potter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Proto
Say: Titlelist Pro V1