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Amen Corner inflicts damage on contenders in final round of Masters

Apr. 14—AUGUSTA — Collin Morikawa, Max Homa and Ludvig Åberg weathered some of the toughest conditions Augusta National Golf Club had seen in recent years through the first three rounds.

Each held a share of the lead Sunday during the final round of the 88th Masters Tournament.

And then it all fell apart for each of them at Amen Corner.

The adage that the Masters doesn't begin until the second nine on Sunday rang true this year.

Scottie Scheffler won his second Masters on Sunday, riding three consecutive birdies at Nos. 8, 9 and 10 to give him a comfortable lead entering Amen Corner.

That's the stretch of land at Augusta National that is fraught with peril. Amen Corner was coined by Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Warren Wind in 1958, and his definition of the area begins with the second shot at 11, includes all of the 12th and finishes with the tee shot at 13.

Åberg, the rookie from Sweden, made the first mistake. He pulled his second shot into 11 and it hit the bank and went into the pond left of the green. Double bogey.

"Obviously we knew that hitting it in the water on 11 wasn't ideal, but we also just kept playing," said Aberg, who played his last seven holes 2 under and finished as runner-up.

Morikawa made the same mistake at 11, but his shot didn't come close to hitting land and splashed into the pond. Double bogey.

"I got greedy," Morikawa said. "When you're playing really good, you don't get greedy, and I got greedy on 9, I got greedy on 11. I wasn't pressing, I just was trying to hit it a little bit too close, and greed can get the best of us."

Up ahead, Homa's tee shot on the par-3 12th was long and bounced into the foliage. He took a drop that cost him a penalty stroke, and chipped onto the green. Two putts later, he also had a double bogey.

"The honest answer is it didn't feel fair," said Homa of his 9-iron tee shot. "I hit a really good golf shot, and it didn't feel fair. I've seen far worse just roll back down the hill."

Scheffler, Morikawa, Homa and Åberg all shared the lead as they played the seventh and eighth holes.

Morikawa actually blinked first when he made double bogey on the 9th. His tee shot was in the right trees, and his second found a greenside bunker. It took two tries to get out of the bunker and he two-putted for his six.

Scheffler wasn't entirely immune to Amen Corner. His second shot at 11 was just right of the green, and his pitch shot ran a little past the cup and he missed the putt for par.

Another two-time Masters champion from Texas — Ben Hogan — famously played to the right of the green to avoid the water.

"If you ever see me on the 11th green in two, you know I missed my second shot," Hogan once said.

Scheffler heeded that advice, while Åberg and Morikawa would have been wise to take it.