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In a Second Masters Win, Scottie Scheffler’s Game Does All the Talking –

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Scottie Scheffler gives off no vibe of intimidation. He’s a nice guy who quietly goes about his business, deferential to his playing partners, respectful of those around him.

Sure, he shows an occasional flash of temper, but who among the best hasn’t had to learn to control such emotions?

It’s Scheffler’s game that does the talking and evokes fear in the golf world today.

How else to explain the scoreboard meltdowns Sunday around him at Augusta National, turning what was setting up to be an epic, tense back-nine battle into a relative stroll amid the dogwoods of Augusta National to another green jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin.

By then, those chasing him in vain at the Masters could only hope that Scheffler’s wife, Meredith, signaled she was going into labor. It was the only way anyone was going to beat him at that point.

And what was shaping up to be a riveting final few holes turned into another coronation.

Don’t blame Scottie.

Scheffler, who said he’d leave if the baby beckoned, is just 27, but he now has captured two Masters and three of his last four tournaments on the PGA Tour, having shot a final-round 68 to win by four strokes over Masters rookie Ludvig Åberg. Nobody else was within seven shots.

And that’s after being tied with 11 holes to go.

Collin Morikawa, who played with Scheffler in the final group and trailed by just a shot, said you can’t make the kind of mistakes he and others make when Scheffler is as strong as he is at the moment.

“He drives the ball plenty, plenty long, well past me,” said Morikawa, a two-time major winner who shot 74 and finished in a tie for third. “Hits his irons obviously spectacular. Keeps it simple. Makes the putts when he needs to. If he doesn’t, still has plenty of chances. And just never put himself in trouble.

“It’s impressive what he’s doing throughout the bag. From junior golf, he was always a great short game player. His chipping and putting was always great. This whole putting-majig he was going through, I knew he was going to get out of. But to see what he’s doing with his irons is crazy impressive because he’s hitting every shot, he’s moving both directions, and it’s something that I admire that hopefully I can get my game back to that kind of spot.”

Scheffler didn’t avoid mistakes, but he countered them with birdies when necessary and mostly let the others fall out of contention. He didn’t play defensive, going for the green at in two at 13, hitting it close again at 14 and adding one more birdie to make it look easy at the 16th.

It’s risky business to compare anyone to Tiger Woods, but Scheffler’s adjusted scoring average in 2023 was in the neighborhood of some of Woods’s best work. And he’s employing the Woods playbook of letting others make mistakes.

There was a time when Scheffler was tied for the lead with Åberg,  Morikawa and Max Homa. The final nine holes were setting up to be the best in years, probably since the drama of Woods’s victory in 2019. But the three challengers all made at least one double bogey to severely limit their chances.

Morikawa was first to blink. He found a greenside bunker at the 9th, saying he got greedy. Then he left the ball in the sand and made double. He made another at the 11th. Meanwhile, Scheffler nearly holed his approach at the 9th and had a tap-in birdie.

Collin Morikawa tries to determine if his ball is on the 7th green in the final round of the 2024 Masters.

Two double bogeys sunk Collin Morikawa’s chances Sunday.

Åberg, the Swedish star who a year ago was still playing college golf and was competing in his first major championship, hung tough through 10 holes and was a shot behind. That’s when he inexplicably took on the flagstick and was possibly fooled by the wind, hitting his approach into the water. Double bogey. (As it turned out, Åberg, who shot 69, would have needed a 65 to tie Scheffler.)

Homa, making a game run in a major championship for the first time, was still right there through 11 holes. Then his tee shot at the par-3 12th flew over the green and into a bush. Unplayable. Double bogey.

“Scottie is an amazing golfer,” Homa said. “It’s really impressive. Obviously I was going to need to play some spectacular golf today, did not. But I thought I played some really good golf, so I’m proud of that, and it was a really fun weekend.”

Suddenly, Scheffler’s lead was three shots, never to be closer than two.

It’s nice to play the 13th, the 15th and the 16th with a bit of breathing room.

Not that Scheffler was breathing.

“He just seemed focused on doing Scottie Scheffler things,” said Ted Scott, Scheffler’s caddie. “That’s what he said on 13. He goes, ‘should we go for it?’ I said, absolutely. Why don’t we do what we do and what we’re good at. He’s the best ballstriker in the world.

“He hit an unbelievable 4-iron, which is just incredible to that small target. Those targets seem big when you’re caddieing for Scottie Scheffler. That’s how good he is.”

Scott now has four Masters victories, two each with Bubba Watson and Scheffler, whom he began caddying for in late 2022 when the golfer who was—amazingly, in hindsight—a controversial pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

He’s now won two majors and nine tournaments in that time and has a monetary haul that likes of which only a LIV golfer could appreciate. Scheffler has shot exactly zero rounds over par in 2024.

He’s also won the Masters three times in just five starts and joined Woods as just the second player to win the Players Championship and the Masters in the same year.

“I’m just pinching myself, honestly,” Scott said. “I don’t really know what I’m seeing. The guy is special. He’s a different kind of special. I think we’re all seeing it, and we’re all questioning where did this come from?

“When he called me, I had no idea he was that good. We were his partner in New Orleans. I was like, yeah, he’s a good player, and he’s a great guy. I’d love to hang out with him. After two weeks, I was like, this guy is really good. Now it’s like, wow, is he really good. I’m surprised too.”

Scheffler played the straight man all the way to the end, never showing a hint of emotion until he holed out, hugged Scott and then raised his arms in triumph as he walked off the green to a loud ovation.

During the green jacket ceremony, he nearly cried as the subject of the impending birth of his first child was raised, and Scheffler acknowledged afterward he wants to get home to Dallas, with a baby due soon.

It’s unlikely that will get in the way of him pursuing more greatness. He’ll be the favorite next month for the PGA Championship at Valhalla and at the U.S. Open in June at Pinehurst No. 2.

“I’m definitely not going to intentionally take my eye off the ball,” he said. “I will go home, soak in this victory tonight. Will definitely enjoy the birth of my first child. But with that being said, I still love competing. My priorities will change here very soon. My son or daughter will now be the main priority, along with my wife, so golf will now be probably fourth in line.

“But I still love competing. I don’t plan on taking my eye off the ball anytime soon, that’s for sure.”

Perhaps figuring out how to put in a car seat will cause him some frustration. Or changing diapers.

The world’s best golfers need something to distract Scheffler right now because he is eliciting no signs of vulnerability. If Augusta National and all its treacherousness can’t do it, what else?



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