Scottie Scheffler dominates Masters for second green jacket, lives up to No. 1 ranking

Scottie Scheffler did what the tall Texan usually does when the stakes are high. The hottest player in the world didn’t make any false moves, stayed calm and then cashed in for his second Masters Tournament victory in the past three years at Augusta National Golf Club.

Staked to a one-shot lead entering Sunday’s final round, the 6-foot-3 Scheffler plotted his way around the course and watched as his challengers crashed and burned. He never trailed and hit the jackpot with the largest first-place check in Masters history – $3.6 million.

The 27-year-old Scheffler birdied Nos. 8, 9 and 10 to pull away from the crowd. He went on to win by four shots over Masters rookie Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, who closed with 69.

Tommy Fleetwood (69 on Sunday), Max Homa (73) and Collin Morikawa (74) tied for third place at 284.

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After Scheffler rolled in a 2-foot par on the closing hole to finish his second masterpiece, he raised his arms in victory and shouted, “Whoa!” He then hugged caddie Ted Scott, who started working for him just before the 2022 Masters, putting him in a headlock at one point.

In another show-stopping performance, Scheffler closed with 4-under-par 68 to finish at 11-under 277, one shot better than his 2022 winning score.

Scheffler’s play “was simply spectacular,” Masters Chairman Fred Ridley said.

“Obviously, Scottie is an unbelievable golf player, and I think we all expect him to be there when it comes down to the last couple holes of a tournament,” Aberg said. “He's proven it again and again, and I think, you know, he makes us better. He makes you want to beat him, obviously, and, you know, that's the same for me and the same for everyone else in this field I think.”

Scottie Scheffler celebrates on the 18th green Sunday after winning the 88th Masters Tournament.
Scottie Scheffler celebrates on the 18th green Sunday after winning the 88th Masters Tournament.

Scheffler’s won both his green jackets going away,. One difference this time around was that his wife Meredith wasn’t here to share it with him. The Schefflers are expecting their first child in two weeks.

“I’m coming home,” Scheffler said when asked what he wanted to say to his wife during the green jacket ceremony in the Butler Cabin. “I’ll be home as quick as I can. It’s been a long week without her.”

His wife, who Scheffler calls his biggest supporter, eased any doubts he had on the Sunday morning of the 2022 Masters. This time, he spent the morning with some of his buddies, as he called them.

“We tried not to talk about golf, but it got increasingly difficult,” Scheffler said. “It was a bit overwhelming. I told them I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as I do. It would make the waiting easier. But I’m a competitor and I want to win. I hate to lose.”

Scheffler, a former University of Texas golfer, is the first player since World War II to win two Masters in his first five appearances. Jimmy Demaret, Arnold Palmer and Bubba Watson won their second Masters in their sixth appearances.

This was Scheffler’s ninth career win, three of them this season.

“It’s phenomenal,” Luke List, who tied for 38th place, said of Scheffler’s recent play. “He's probably just trying to bottle it and keep it going as long as possible. Without question, he’s going to be a force for years to come.”

Of Scheffler’s challengers, Morikawa was the first to crash, with a double bogey on No. 9, a hole he’d entered tied with Scheffler, his playing partner. Scheffler made birdie for a three-shot swing.

Scottie Scheffler holds the Masters Trophy high at the Green Jacket Ceremony early Sunday evening after winning the tournament.
Scottie Scheffler holds the Masters Trophy high at the Green Jacket Ceremony early Sunday evening after winning the tournament.

Aberg stumbled with a double bogey on No. 11, then rallied by playing his final seven holes in 2 under, but it was too little, too late.

“It was a good example of just keep playing, just to make sure to keep the ball in front of you, and there's a lot of holes left to be played,” Aberg said. “I think me finishing well was pretty encouraging to see.”

Homa, tied with Scheffler after six holes and two back after nine, was the next to fall. His demise came at the par-3 12th hole where his tee shot bounded into some scrub, forcing him to take an unplayable lie and made double bogey. The tie for third place was still his best finish in a major championship.

This season, Scheffler hasn’t been out of the top 10 in his past seven events. He’s 142 under par for 35 rounds.

Scottie Scheffler puts on his green jacket with some assistance from 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm on Sunday evening.
Scottie Scheffler puts on his green jacket with some assistance from 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm on Sunday evening.

After his closing 73 on Sunday, Rory McIlroy was asked what he thinks is in Scheffler head when he’s on a tear like this one.

“Nothing. Nothing. Not a lot of clutter,” McIlroy said. “The game feels pretty easy when you're in stretches like this. That's the hard thing whenever you're not quite in form. You are searching and you are thinking about it so much, but then when you are in form, you don't think about it at all. So it's trying to find that balance.”

In the two Florida Swing tournaments he won in March, Scheffler was 15-under at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 20-under the next week at the Players Championship.

Scottie Scheffler lines up his putt on No. 11.
Scottie Scheffler lines up his putt on No. 11.

“To have won the Players and Bay Hill and he had a ridiculous amount of scores under par in the Florida Swing, which is really tough,” List said. “He's just an all around good player and good guy, so it's easy to see why he's having a lot of success. Once you get confidence in this game, it kind of rolls.”

Scheffler had struggled with his putting last season and early this season. A switch to a mallet-headed putter has made the difference. He had putting rounds of 26, 27, 29 and 27 on Sunday this week. He finished third in the field with fewest putts with 109.

“It's scary that he's kind of flipped a switch in his putting,” List said. “He's always been a tremendous ball striker, and the media has kind of got in his head a little bit (about his putting). Every time I play with him, he putts really well.”

It was a disappointing week for Tiger Woods, McIlroy and LIV golfers in general.

Scottie Scheffler plays a shot from a bunker on the 15th hole on Sunday.
Scottie Scheffler plays a shot from a bunker on the 15th hole on Sunday.

Woods, playing his 100th Masters round on Sunday, finished in last place of the 60 players who made the cut, closing with 77. He opened with 73-72 and then had his highest round in the Masters by four shots, 82, in the third round.

Considering he last played 72 holes in an official PGA Tour event at the 2022 Masters, Woods called it a “good week all around. I think that coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately yesterday it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. Today the round that I - the way that Tom Kim (who finished with 66) is playing I thought I had in my system. Unfortunately, I didn't produce it.”

McIlroy, in his 10th attempt to complete the career Grand Slam, tied for 23rd place.

“All I can do is come here and try my best,” he said. “That's what I do every time I show up. Some years it's better than others. I've just got to keep showing up and try to do the right thing.

“Yeah, because all these disappointing weeks are 20ths, 25ths,” McIllroy said. “They're not terrible weeks by any stretch, but there's a lot of room for improvement.”

The 13 golfers in the field from the LIV Golf tour posed for a photo last week with a caption that said they were “coming for that green jacket.”

Only Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau, who shared sixth place at 286, and Tyrrell Hatton (tied for ninth) were in contention, although eight of them made the cut.

The LIV player considered to have the best shot at winning, Brooks Koepka, was never in the conversation. A co-runner-up last year with fellow LIV golfer Phil Mickelson, Koepka was bested by the 53-year-old Mickelson this week. Mickelson shot 73-75-74-74-296 to tie for 43rd place while Koepka tied for 45th place (73-73-76-75-297).

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Scottie Scheffler wins 2024 Masters for second green jacket