The Masters: Scottie Scheffler claims maiden major as Rory McIlroy takes second at Augusta National
Scheffler extended his advantage as world No 1 with a three-shot victory in opening men's major of the year; Rory McIlroy claimed second after a round-of-the-day 64 and Tiger Woods ended his competitive comeback with a final-round 78
By Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 11/04/22 8:53am
Scottie Scheffler came through a final-round tussle with Cameron Smith and overcame a late charge from Rory McIlroy to ease to a maiden major victory at The Masters.
Scheffler saw his overnight advantage temporarily cut from three to one during a thrilling final day at Augusta National, only to pull clear of the chasing pack and register a fourth win in his last six starts.
The world No 1 four-putted his final hole but still posted a one-under 71 to end the week on 10 under and three clear of McIlroy, who carded his career-best finish at The Masters with a round-of-the-day 64, while Smith had to settle for a share of third place alongside Shane Lowry after a final-round 73.
Scheffler had to get up and down from the back of the green to scramble a par on the opening hole, as Smith followed a 15-foot birdie at the first by taking advantage of the par-five next to cut the lead to one.
A two-shot swing at the third saw Smith make bogey and Scheffler chip in from off the green, restoring his overnight advantage, with Smith dropping another shot at the par-three next when he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
Both players birdied the seventh to pull further clear of the field but missed opportunities to add to their tally at the par-five eighth, as McIlroy played himself into the tournament by following a front-nine 32 by birdieing the 10th and rolling in a 10-foot eagle at the par-five 13th.
Scheffler - four clear at the turn - started his back nine with a bogey, as Smith responded to missing from six feet at the 10th by birdieing the next, with the Australian's major hopes then ruined when he found Rae's Creek off the par-three 12th tee and racked up a triple-bogey six.
McIlroy's hopes of a record-low round ended when his drive found the trees at the par-five 15th, forcing him to lay up and settle for a par, although a spectacular bunker hole-out at the par-four last saw him set the clubhouse target at seven under.
Scheffler missed a five-foot birdie opportunity at the par-five 13th but holed from a similar distance at the next for the first of back-to-back birdies, taking him five clear, with a four-putt double-bogey at the last not enough to prevent him from securing the win and further cementing his place at the top of the world rankings.
Lowry took advantage of both par-fives on the back nine and birdied the last to finish on five under, while Morikawa matched McIlroy's birdie finish to post a closing 67 and end the week in fifth ahead of Will Zalatoris and Corey Conners.
Former world No 1 Justin Thomas posted a level-par 72 to finish in tied-eighth alongside first-round leader Sungjae Im, while Tiger Woods marked his first competitive start since November 2020 by posting back-to-back 78s over the weekend and finishing in 47th spot.
When are the rest of this year's majors?
Scheffler will now target further major success at the PGA Championship from May 19-22, which takes place at Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since Woods' victory there in 2007, with the US Open then being held at The Country Club in Brookline from June 16-19.
The men's major season then reaches its climax at The 150th Open from July 14-17, with Woods confirming he intends to tee it up at St Andrews, with all the majors once again exclusively live this year on Sky Sports Golf.