Scheffler Shines, Rory Reborn & Tiger Returns: 5 Things We Learned From The Masters

Scottie Scheffler dominated over 72 holes as he won his first major
15:23, 11 Apr 2022

Scottie Scheffler's stunning season continued this weekend as he clinched the first major of his career with victory in The Masters, cementing his place as the best player in the men's game right now. The American won with a one-under 71, missing two short putts for a double bogey on 18, to finish 10 under par.

By picking up the famous Green jacket, he made it four wins for the campaign so far, after also finding success in the World Match Play, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Phoenix Open. But Scheffler wasn't the only talking point from Augusta this year. Here are five things we learned from a phenomenal four days of action in Georgia. 

Scheffler’s Dominant Reign Continues

25-year-old Scottie Scheffler was already making headlines for becoming the quickest player to reach the number one ranking, reaching the accolade shortly after defeating Kevin Kisner in the WGC Match Play to win it. No player has ever reached the top of the chain as fast as Scheffler has and he continued his incredible vein of form. 

He made it look easy in comparison to the rest of the field, holding off Aussie challenger Cameron Smith in his final round with superb short game and putting. With this win, he becomes one of only five players to be ranked World number one and go on to win The Masters, after Ian Woosnam, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.

What’s more impressive about the American’s start to the season is the variety of wins he has seemed to get so far this season. The Phoenix Open was a rowdy weekend with grandstands surrounding the holes of TPC Scottsdale, mostly remembered for Sam Ryder’s hole-in-one which sent the crowd wild with a England-fans-in-a-pub vibe. 

His second was a single shot victory at Arnold Palmer Invitational, usually a great course with plenty of hazards in play, easy to trip anyone up. His final win in the run up to The Masters was in the aforementioned World Match Play, a completely different format of golf, showing Scheffler’s versatility on the course, with the ability to achieve success no matter the course or format. 

Scheffler’s reign as number one will take some beating and he will be looking forward to the PGA Championship at Southern Hills next month. 

Rory McIlroy Reborn?

The story of Rory McIlroy and The Masters is a bitter one for the Northern Irishman. The only major left for him to get his hands on and he’s been close many times, but he’s never quite managed to get over the line on the final day. 

This time, the wind had changed for him. He started the day at +1 but shot a round of 64, a record-breaking score around Augusta National, to get him a second-place finish. Memories of 2011 will no doubt be running through his mind, where he shot the worst round in history by any professional golfer leading after the third round of the Masters Tournament. He fell to pieces on the final nine holes after holding a four shot lead, eventually shooting a +8 round.

Rory’s form might’ve fallen by the wayside in recent months, but this season seems promising for the Ulsterman. A second place finish shows that he has found his rhythm once again and the confidence gained from such a performance on the last round will do the world of good for him. 

Tiger’s Return Not Dampened By Performance

Tiger Woods completed 72 holes in his first competitive appearance in over 500 days. He defied the odds in his appearance, not for the first time in his career, but not in his performance as he finished +13 for the week. 

It didn’t put too much of a dampener on the whole affair though, as crowds of thousands followed him all around the course, cheering his every move. He still managed to make a 71 on the opening day to keep himself amongst the top of the leaderboard. 

Woods confirmed in his post-round interview that he was unsure when he’d play next, seemingly undecided over next month’s PGA Championship. He did confirm that he will be there at St Andrews in the 150th Open Championship in July and if that’s the next time we’ll see him, then it’ll have been a great rest for the former world number one.

A Subpar Weekend For The Big Names

It would appear that the new generations of golfers have arrived, or you’d be forgiven for thinking so, looking at some of the names who had poor rounds this weekend. Fiery Englishman Tyrrell Hatton finished last with +17, having fallen out of favour after making the cut and struggling in his final round. 

Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all didn’t make it past the cut. John Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Robert MacIntyre were among the Europeans who couldn’t quite find any rhythm this weekend as well. 

It was a low scoring event regardless, with players in 14th finishing +2, including Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and last year’s champion, Hideki Matsuyama. 

The Masters Bubble Continues To Surprise

The weather played a huge part in the weekend’s action. Sunday afternoon was a delightful afternoon, with the sun gazing over the fairways and not a cloud in the sky, whereas the temperature was more autumnal. 

The images of Scottie Scheffler switching between his gilet and jacket in between every hole on Saturday afternoon was iconic in of itself. He even continued in the pitch black and freezing cold conditions on the range straight after he finished his third round, much to the bemusement of most. 

The cold even made Justin Thomas, one of the world’s best professional golfers, top a shot on the driving range, making him seem like one of us rather than the incredible major-winning golfer that he really is.

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