Scottie Scheffler holds on to Masters lead to secure his first Major championship
Scottie Scheffler showed ice cold consistency on the final day of The Masters to win his first green jacket – proving just why he’s world No.1.
The American started the day on 10- under, three shots ahead of Australia’s Cameron Smith. It was the Queenslander who got off to a promising start with a pair of birdies on the first two holes. But after sinking a spectacular chip on the third, Scheffler never really looked back.
There was a hint of a rally when Smith birdied the 11th. But a score of six on the par three 12th effectively ended his chances. In the end he was overtaken by Rory McIlroy, himself chasing a Grand Slam of Major victories. The Northern Irishman hit an astonishing round of 64, his magical bunker shot on the 18th one of the day’s highlights.
The day, though, belonged to Scheffler, whose final round of 71 – including four birdies – was pure class.
Smith finished third on 5- under, tied with Ireland’s Shane Lowry. America’s Colin Morikawa finished fourth on 4- under.
Elsewhere, Australia’s Min Woo Lee ended the weekend 14th; Marc Leishman finished 31; Cameron Davis 46th. Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, tied 48th.
Tiger Woods, who dominated so many of this week’s headlines, finished on 13- over. Not quite the fairytale comeback fans hoped for, but the fact the five-time champion completed 72 holes was remarkable; just 14 months ago he underwent extensive emergency surgery to save his right leg following a car accident.
Scottie Scheffler is still your leader after Round 3 (-9) when he may have been a bit off the pace today at -1, 71 shots. However, his improved 1st half spell from Thursday & Friday shows that Scheffler’s got it all to stay consistent & pull off in a bid to wear the green jacket tomorrow. His best finish here in Augusta was tied 18th last year, but he did improve in the other majors (8th in 2021 & 4th in 2020 at the PGA Championship, 8th in 2021 at the British Open & 7th at the 2021 US Open) as this could be Scheffler’s first major title.
When it comes to competitors who are also chasing the green jacket for the first time, it’s good to see Australia’s Cameron Smith rebound today like it was from Round 1 on Thursday with five birdies at -4, 68 shots. He’s only three shots behind Scheffler now in 2nd at -6, as all Smith can pray now is for the leader to be inconsistent before he can potentially be the 2nd Aussie after Adam Scott to win The Masters.
The same goes with South Korean Sungjae-Im in 3rd, who isn’t far behind Smith and Scheffler. Now he still needs to work on the first nine holes that would help him bridge the gap between 3rd and the Top 2. However, Im still has that strong edge when it comes to the back nine holes after he finished his Round 3 spell with five birdies at -1, 71 shots.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry is still in a position at tied 4th despite only collecting two birdies during the 1st half. South African Charl Schwartzel also endured the same consistency as Lowry, but we can’t forget his terrific brace with the eagle in the 10th hole. Both players credited Round 2 yesterday with the improved leaderboard positions as their turning point, as they hope to split Smith & Im before it’s a race against time to catch Scheffler.
Will we see another first-time winner tomorrow from either Scheffler or someone else like Smith, Im, or Lowry? Otherwise, can Schwartzel secure a fairytale 11-year reunion with the green jacket?
There’s so much to reflect on the second day of this year’s Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta, GA. Aussie Cam Smith couldn’t kick on his opening day spell when he languished a lot of pars and a few bogeys in a total of +2, 74 shots, although he finished Day 2 well with two birdies at holes 15 & 18. There’s still two days left going into the weekend & make up some lost time, as he’s Tied 6th at a total of -2.
The same say for South Korea’s Sungjae Im, who lost the lead to Scottie Scheffler, following three birdies, five bogeys & a majority of pars at +2 (74 shots). But again, he’s still in the mix at Tied 2nd going into Day 3 tomorrow & hopefully be the first South Korean to wear the green jacket.
We also saw some of the improved competitors today alongside Im in the shared 2nd spot; Ireland’s Shane Lowry, Reigning champion Hideki Matsuyama from Japan & 2011 Masters winner South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel. Meanwhile, Harold Varner III & Kevin Na continued their impressive start with the same score as yesterday at -2 (71 shots), where they will look to break into the Top 5 zone & have an outside crack for the lead if things work out after Day 3.
Dustin Johnson’s struggles continue that was miles away from the promised start he produced in Round 1, with only one birdie collected in the 4th hole at +1, 73 shots. It will be interesting to see if he can regroup in the weekend spells of Rounds 3 & 4, as he currently sits in Tied 6th, total -2. Danny Willett & Joaquin Niemann also endured some inconsistencies that saw them fall down the leaderboard in Tied 10th. And Patrick Cantlay slipped outside the Top 10 from 7th to 19th alongside Tiger Woods, who did enough to make the cut at +2 today (74 shots).
Two rounds down, two to go with Scottie Schaeffler as your leader from Tied 3rd yesterday at -3 to -8. Whoever is leading after Day 3, we will see an exciting finish that will change everything on Sunday at the Augusta National Golf Club.
It’s good to see an Australian in Cameron Smith doing so well, who is currently in 2nd after the 1st Day of the 2022 Masters in Augusta, GA. He may fired off poorly when Smith shot six in the first hole through Par 4, but he gradually improved as it goes where he racked up three eagles & four birdies at -4 (68 shots).
At the end of the day, the leader you’re looking at is Sunjae Im from South Korea; he was very consistent with plenty of 3s & 4s that earned him a whopping six birdies apart from the three bogeys at -5 (67 shots).
Then there are also a lot of 3rd place runners catching right up to Smith and Im’s radar, with Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Danny Willett & Joaquin Niemann all tied at -3 (69 shots).
Johnson fired off well where he sniffed around Smith & Im earlier on for the lead. Although his form may have dipped going into the 2nd half spell that began to slip away from joint 1st with Smith & Im, there’s still room for improvement to catch up tomorrow if he wants to regain the lead & try to snatch that green jacket for the second time. Meanwhile, Willett, Scheffler & Niemann always kept their eye within the Top 3, having never been out of shape throughout the opening day as they look to hold back Johnson & split this front-row battle of Smith & Im on Day 2 tomorrow.
Jason Kokrak & Corey Conners sat comfortably outside the Top 6 throughout the opening day alongside Patrick Cantlay, who improved lately with four birdies in the 2nd half spell. And we also can’t forget the return of Tiger Woods after a freak accident earlier last year; he shot a lot of pars alongside three birdies in joint 10th at -1 (71 shots).
It will be interesting to see which two runner-ups from the 2020 Masters Tournaments will be up in front by the end of Day 2 tomorrow at Augusta National Golf Course.
Although the golf season has been in full swing for months, for many fans, the Masters is the official start of the golf season. After all, it is the first major championship in the calendar year and a “tradition like no other.” One cannot think of the Masters without fondly recalling 1986 when Jack Nicklaus stormed from behind on the back nine on the final day to win his 6th Masters at the age of 46. Similarly, people vividly remember Tiger Woods’ first triumph in 1997 and his unexpected win in 2019.
Last year, Justin Rose jumped to the early lead in the Masters with an opening round of 65. However, he failed to break par in any of the next three rounds and finished 7th. A third round of 65 by Hideki Matsuyama put him in great position and despite a final round of 73, walked away with his first major and first Japanese-born player to win the Masters. Will Zalatoris finished a shot back at nine-under par.
Taking a look at this year’s field and there are numerous big names are set to tee it up, including the likes of past champions Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott. There is even a remote chance that Woods himself tees it up.
Oddly enough, Matsuyama is a longshot to defend at 28-to-1 odds and Zalatoris is at 35-to-1, so expect a different top end of the leaderboard this time around.
One of the hottest players on the PGA Tour and one to watch is Cameron Smith, who has two wins this season and is ranked sixth in the world. Despite being arguably the hottest player currently on the PGA Tour, Smith’s odds of winning at 16-1 are behind Jon Rahm (9-1), Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas (12-1), and Rory McIlroy at 14-1. For McIlroy, a win would complete the much-coveted grand slam. However, the Masters has been a very difficult challenge for the 32-year-old, who has finished outside the top 20 in two of his last three starts at Augusta, including a missed cut last year.
Don’t be surprised if 24-year-old Viktor Hovland makes a run at the championship. He has a win and four top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour this season. Ranked 4th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Hovland has been in the top ten in three of his last five starts.
Other players who could seriously contend for the Masters title this year include Brooks Koepka, Scottie Sheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The Augusta National course the players will face is different from past years. Changes to the first hole of “amen corner” at number 11 and the 15th will add 35 yards to the course, increasing the distance to a record 7510 yards. The dogleg on the 11th hole is slightly diminished and some trees were removed from the right side of the fairway.
In addition, there are new greens on the 3rd, 13th, and 17th holes. The 11th hole has a wider fairway giving players a nice chance of reaching the green even on balls missed to the right. Despite that fact, the trouble around the green is increased, so an already difficult hole could play even tougher this year. The dogleg left on the 13th hole that gives the big bombers a chance to cut the corner, we expected to change but has remained intact. However, a change to the length of this hole is likely to occur for future Masters tournaments.
In the end, the only real changes this year’s players must be concerned about are those to the three greens mentioned and to the 11th and 15th holes. Augusta National is difficult enough without any major changes.
It’s time to sit back and enjoy perhaps first major championship of the PGA season!
With the 2021 Masters coming to a close this past weekend we would like to take this article to give you a summary of everything that happened in case you didn’t have time to watch it this weekend.
We start this article with the start of the tournament, looking specifically at the players who did not make the cutline going into Saturday. This Masters was quite unique when it comes to that respect, with many of the best players in the world, including the reigning Masters champion, missing the cutline this past weekend. This includes stars like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson was not only the reigning champion but is also the number one ranked golfer in the world currently. With this statistic he joins a negative part of history being the third defending champion within the past five years to miss the cut and the 12th Master champion to miss it in general. We were not as surprised to see Koepka or McIlroy miss the cut due to their recent struggles, but these are still big names to be missing the cut at a Majors championship event.
There were some newcomers that made a large way in this year’s tournament, specifically Will Zalatoris who prior to this event called the Korn Ferry Tour home. This was the third Major championship event that he had played on in the PGA Tour, but keep in mind that this was his very first appearance at the Masters specifically. With that being said, expectations were low for this young golfer, in fact not many people even knew his name prior to this tournament. Despite the low expectations, he quickly jumped to the front of the pack where you could see his name towards the top of the leaderboard day after day. People expected him to fall off even after the first round, but he stayed put and kept his ground. He eventually finished in second place with a score of nine under par, and had one of the best finishes for a first time Masters player in the history of the tournament.
As for the final day of the tournament it still made for some excitement, with Jon Rahm coming out of nowhere and having a day six under par to finish tied for fifth place. Although it was safe to say that all eyes were on Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele who were the final group of the day. It was safe to say that it was exciting from start to finish with Schauffele having a day full of birdies and bogeys even though he would finish the round with even par. Matsuyama came into the day with a four stroke lead, and did win the tournament after all but did so by only one stroke due to a bogey on hole eighteen. In doing so he became the first Japanese Masters champion in the history of the tournament. It is safe to say that it was a great day for him, but it was a great day in golf history for sure.
This is moving day on Day 3 of the 2021 Masters at Augusta National. Where Justin Rose from England led the first two rounds. But scored 72 just like yesterday with no sign of rebound. He is on -7 under par in 5th/tied 2nd. So still possible to get that green jacket. Just cannot afford to make the same mistakes in Day 2 & 3.
Jordan Spieth did make the Top 10 today on -5. Having now sit in 7th. The form however is inconsistent. He can still end up in the Top 5. With a slow and steady build like yesterday. If he wanted the green jacket though. Then he has to push harder and come out from behind. Same goes to Brian Harman. He was in the front row during the 1st half. But then fell away with a less than expected score of 74. As he is on -4. Lots of catch up to do. While Bryson DeChambeau fell from the Top 20 to 38th. He is on +2 over par at a poor score of 75. So no chance of a comeback.
The biggest movers are Corey Conners from Canada. He is positioned as the underdog here. Thanks to a brilliant screamer on the 6th hole. Where sinked it immediately. And that puts him on -6 after scoring 68. So does Marc Leishman, Xander Schauffele & Will Zalatoris. All of them on -7. Just four shots behind the new leader in Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese golfer may be 7th during Day 2 yesterday. He scored a brilliant run of 65 which puts him at -11 under par on Day 3.
Rain may have held back 1/2 hours of play. But at least we have seen a change of leader from Rose to Matsuyama. Just after the 1st half. While a couple have fell down the order. As we look forward to a final round decider tomorrow. Will Rose rebound from disappointment? Or else who will pull off for the major home.
And make history for their country. Hideki Matsuyama is one of them. The same goes to the Aussie Marc Leishman. Where he hails from Warrnambool, Victoria. How about the underdog of Corey Conners from Canada? If not then how about the in-from Schauffele. And Will Zalatoris who tries to become one of the youngest to win a major. This is decent completion with six players fighting for the green jacket. The action begins tomorrow 4am AEST or a bit earlier depending on rain. Both on Fox Sports and Nine’s Wide World of Sports.
Justin Rose still leads after the 1st half of the 2021 Masters. He shot 72 today which is even par. So nothing wrong from his end as he looks to hold off going into Day 3.
While Brian Harman still tied in joint 2nd spot on 69 & -3 today. And seven under par with the hope of chasing Rose. As Will Zalatoris moved from 4th to 2nd. He played well on 68 at -4 today/-6 overall.
No improvements from Rory McIIroy who continued to decline. Where his swing was still exposed with a rough day at two over par today. And six over par overall which sees himself missed the cut. That means he is eliminated from this major.
Bryson DeChambeau did catch up just inside the Top 20. He shot -5 under par & -1 overall after Day 2. As said earlier on that he came to Augusta as one of the favourites. But so far things did not go against his way. The next two days will be crucial at least if he can finish in the Top 10. A win is increasingly unlikely though.
As well as Hideki Matsuyama who hails from Japan. Was joint 2nd with Brian Harman yesterday. But unable to hold its middle ground at -1 in Round 2. And -4 overall going into tomorrow. He is just outside the Top 10 in 11th. Which is a sign of decline right now. Just needs to be patient if a return to the Top 5-7 would keep his hopes alive. We will find out soon.
Round 2 today sees some players make progress as the heavy movers. Jordan Spieth was 12th yesterday. Now he is in 4th shooting 68 at -4 alone. And -5 overall. Got plenty of momentum carried from the Texas win last week. Tomorrow will be a test if he can split Zalatoris & Harman. Before Spieth can find Rose.
The same goes from Aussie Marc Leishman at 67. He is -5 under par in both Round 2 & overall ladder. Great progress there from 17th to 5th. It will be interesting if he can enter the front row. And stay in contention going into the final round. As Leishman can jump from behind for that green jacket. With $11 million USD in it.
We cannot wait for Day 3 tomorrow with the hope of clear weather. There is a chance of rain towards the end of play at 5-6pm in Augusta, GA. Will it be Rose who still has the lead baton. Or is someone else will put their hand up. And duel with him ahead on Sunday for this major.
Great to see The Masters return in the usual April spot. As it always been in a long time. After the 2020 edition finally came during November due to COVID.
Justin Rose from England leads after Round 1 today on -7. Brian Harman not far behind on -3 who hails from Savannah, GA. Where he is tied up with Hideki Matsuyama (Japan). Plus two Americans round off the Top 5. Will Zalatoris who leads out of the youth alone. He is joint 4th from San Francisco, California. And Webb Simpson aged 35 from Raleigh, NC.
Jordan Speith is in 12th spot/tied 8th at -1 today. Just behind Tyrell Hatton who shot a great birdie in the 12th hole. He came off a tour win last week in Texas. With plenty of work to catch up tomorrow if he wants that green jacket badly. As written in our 2021 Masters preview. Marc Leishman is the No.1 Aussie here. He is aged 37 from Warrnambool, Victoria in 19th spot/tied 13th at Even Par.
Rory McIIroy fired off against his way in 66th at four over par. He came here as the underdog with plenty of criticism regarding his swing. Which led to the hiring of Pete Cowen. Things might change over the next day or two. Well thankfully his dad is okay after he was hit off McIlroy in the 7th hole. But right now the chance to take home the green jacket is a tall order. Same goes to Bryson DeChambeau. He may have won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month.
But his run here in Augusta does not really benefit his preparations. He too has also entered The Masters as one of the favourites. Just like the delayed 2020 edition where it did not end well. So far there is no sign of early progress. He is four places behind McIIroy in 70th on four over par. Not a great start from both men.
Day 1 is complete with former World No.1 Rose leads the line. Speith still has time to enter the Top 10. Then look to close down to the front row. The same goes to Leishman. And it will be interesting to see if both McIIroy & DeChambeau turns around tomorrow. Cannot wait for Day 2 of 4 in the 2021 Masters. It starts at 5am tomorrow & Sunday. Followed by 4am Monday morning for the final round.
Even though COVID-19 delayed the playing of the 2020 Masters, it only made the event more special and makes the upcoming 2021 Masters even more exciting. Rather than waiting a full year between events we only had to wait six months, but there has been a lot that has happened in the golf world within those six months. One of the biggest shake ups in the sport has been the rise of Jordan Spieth and the fall of Rory McIlroy.
In today’s article we will take a look at these two stars and give you our predictions for the next four days.
Jordan Spieth was looking to become a star with his major victories from 2014-2017 and at one point in his career was standing in second place on the Official World Golf Rankings. However it seemed like his stardom would be short lived as he fell from grace with poor performance after poor performance making many fans wonder, where in the world is Jordan Spieth. In fact, at the 2020 Masters he came in forty sixth place with a score of one over par, well behind Dustin Johnson’s twenty under par.
However within the last six months Jordan Spieth has really gone on a tear, including this weekend. Back in his home state of Texas, Jordan Spieth is currently tied for the lead at the Valero Texas Open. Besides this tournament, he has had three top five performances within the past three months alone, really turning it around since the 2020 Masters. Being a Masters champion himself gives fans another reason to watch out for him during the tournament this weekend.
With a mixture of his prior play in Augusta and his hot streak coming into the tournament, he may be able to win the 2021 Masters!
On the other hand we have Rory McIlroy who is finding himself in a rut similar to the one that Jordan Spieth was in last year. However he has been much more present in the media, informing fans that his swing seems to be falling apart due to changes he is making for added distance. It is safe to say that Bryson DeChambeau’s long ball skills are what is putting the pressure on McIlroy to hit the ball even farther.
Speaking of Bryson DeChambeau he seemed to be the favorite in the 2020 Masters, but he performed well below everyone’s expectations. However it is safe to say that he has since learned from his mistakes, even picking up a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March. With some added experience from the 2020 Masters, he may be able to meet expectations this time.
When it comes to the 2021 Masters this upcoming weekend, keep an eye out for Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau as either one could win the tournament. Have low expectations for Rory McIlroy based on recent swing troubles, but he could certainly pull off a large upset. Keep in mind that it is difficult to maintain the lead throughout all four rounds, so the first round winner may not be the final winner, but Jordan Spieth has done it before. We hope you enjoyed this article and we all look forward to the 2021 Masters!