Scheffler will get Masters inexperienced jacket along with his first main win | National Information

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler capped off a tremendous two months along with his grandest feat of all, profitable the Masters on Sunday to validate his new standing as the very best participant in golf.

The solely stumble got here on the finish when Scheffler wanted 4 putts from 40 ft earlier than he might declare his first main, and that solely mattered within the file guide.

He closed with a 1-under 71 for a three-shot victory over Rory McIlroy, who holed out from the bunker on the ultimate gap for a record-tying last spherical of 64 that gave him the briefest second of hope that Sunday strain at Augusta National may get to Scheffler.

No likelihood. Not on Sunday. Not the final 4 days. Not the final two months.

And to assume it was simply 56 days in the past that Scheffler was nonetheless looking for his first PGA Tour victory. The 25-year-old from Dallas, constructed for stardom from when he was a 10-year-old carrying lengthy pants to look the half of a professional, now has 4 wins in his final six tournaments.

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No prize was higher than that inexperienced jacket.

The Sunday theater, thrilling and tragic, belonged to everybody else. Scheffler overcame a nervy second early within the spherical by chipping in for birdie. He delivered key putts to maintain Cameron Smith at bay and by no means regarded rattled, whilst he was swatting at brief putts on the finish.

McIlroy was the runner-up. It was Smith who felt as if he let one get away. The Aussie was nonetheless within the sport, three pictures out of the lead, when he dumped his tee shot in Rae’s Creek on the par-3 twelfth gap for triple bogey and ended his hopes.

Smith closed with a 73 and tied for third with Shane Lowry, who birdied the 18th for a 69.

Scheffler joined Ian Woosnam in 1991 as the one gamers to win a significant — the Masters in each circumstances — of their debut at No. 1 on the planet.

Everyone ought to have seen this coming. He received the Phoenix Open in a playoff on Super Bowl Sunday. He adopted that with a comeback win at Bay Hill to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He rose to No. 1 on the planet by profitable the Match Play two weeks in the past in Texas.

Scheffler, who completed at 10-under 278, received $2.7 million from the $15 million prize fund. That brings his complete to $8,872,200 over his final six begins.

Scheffler’s massive second got here early within the spherical, and it was no much less vital.

Starting the ultimate spherical with a three-shot lead, he watched Smith open with two straight birdies to the minimize the deficit to 1, after which Scheffler’s method from the pine needles left of the third fairway got here up brief and rolled again down the slope.

His pitch was racing towards the opening when it banged into the pin and dropped for an unlikely birdie, and a two-shot swing when Smith from the identical place made bogey.

No one received nearer than three the remainder of the way in which. Only the contenders modified.

The twelfth gap stays essentially the most riveting par 3 in golf, the scene of extra collapses than comebacks. Smith grew to become the newest sufferer.

Coming off birdie at No. 11, his shot was nonetheless within the air when he let his membership slip by his fingers and he slowly closed his eyes twice because it splashed into Rae’s Creek. The subsequent shot wasn’t a lot better, however at the very least dry, and Smith’s hopes ended there with a triple bogey.

He was three behind standing on the twelfth tee. Three holes later, he was eight again.

From there, any hope resided with McIlroy. All he wanted to finish the profession Grand Slam was to match the very best last spherical in Masters historical past and get some assist from Scheffler. He solely received a type of and needed to accept his first silver medal from Augusta.

Not that he did not create some Sunday magic. McIlroy went bunker-to-bunker on the 18th gap, leaving himself proper of the inexperienced and aiming some 25 ft proper of the flag. It rode the slope all the way in which into the opening, setting off one of many loudest roars of the week.

Morikawa adopted him in from the identical bunker, totally different angle, and McIlroy might solely giggle.

“This tournament never ceases to amaze,” McIlroy stated. “That’s as happy as I’ve ever been on a golf course right there. Just having a chance — and then with Collin, we both played so well all day — and for both of us to finish like this, I was just so happy for him, too.

“I’ve by no means heard roars like on the 18th inexperienced.”

The best ones were saved for Scheffler.

Scheffler still have five holes in front of him, with no evidence he was going to be anything but the smooth, smart operator who seized control on Friday in the toughest conditions to build a five-shot lead and never lost it.

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