Home » Masters 2024: How Scottie Scheffler turned a tense final round into a runaway victory – Australian Golf Digest

Masters 2024: How Scottie Scheffler turned a tense final round into a runaway victory – Australian Golf Digest

[PHOTO: Maddie Meyer]

Scottie Scheffler offered an interesting phrase in talking about his second Masters victory in three years. “Attached to the lead.” It is the notion that you can fall so in love with where you are in the moment that you lose sight of the task ahead.

In describing his neck-stomping, back-nine play in the final round, Scheffler said, “I did not ever let myself get attached to the lead. I just tried to keep pushing. I think if I would have played defensively it would have been a significantly different finish.”

The great ones never settle, and Scheffler powered forward as if his mind and body were turbo-charged. Locked in a four-way tie after he bogeyed the seventh hole, Scheffler stormed into the lead with three straight birdies from the eighth through 10th and never looked back in shooting a four-under-par 68 for a four-shot victory over Ludvig Aberg.

“Around this golf course, you have to stay aggressive,” Scheffler said. “You have to hit the right shots. There’s no way around it out here. You can’t play too defensive, and you can’t play too aggressive.”

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Scheffler’s strong run started with a birdie at par-5 eighth, with him saying afterwards that it was his most important hole. After a 292-metre drive, he was left with 230 metres uphill and powered a 3-iron that went through the right section of the green. He called his third-shot chip “extremely difficult” because the green was sloped away from him, but he pitched past the cup to 10 feet.

As he did for most of the week, Scheffler showed his newfound confidence with the putter. “It was a putt that you had to really start on line and hope it held its line. I poured that one in,” he said.

That would start a string of three straight birdies, with Scheffler smashing a 320-metre drive down the hill at the ninth. He was left with 81 metres and a mere lob wedge – the kind of position that will make past Masters champions shake their heads in both admiration and disgust. From there, Scheffler lofted his approach that hit past the flag and nearly trickled back into the hole, stopping six inches away.

Anybody think it was over at that point? It was.

The birdie gave Scheffler the outright lead, and he added to it at the difficult 10th hole with 134-metre pitching wedge to nine feet for a third consecutive birdie.

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“I knew there was birdies out there on back nine,” Scheffler said. “I had a lot of really talented players trying to chase me down, and I knew pars weren’t going to get it done.”

The only hiccup would come on the challenging 11th, with Scheffler missing the green right and failing to convert his nine-foot par putt. When he got through the treacherous little par-3 12th with a two-putt par, it was attack, attack, attack from there.

Much of how well Scheffler played came in the fact that he drove it so beautifully and stayed away from big misses. Finding the fairway allowed him to go for the green in two at both of the back-nine par 5s; he birdied the 13th with a two-putt and saved par at 15 when his approach found the right greenside bunker. In between, Scheffler scored a clinical birdie at 14 when shaped a 141-metre wedge that landed pin-high left and used the slope in running down to two feet.

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So, to review: Scheffler shot 33 on the inward nine and produced six birdies in the last 11 holes, none of those requiring a putt of longer than 10 feet. That’s how dialled in he was.

“You just have to hit the right shots,” he said. “And, fortunately, today I was able to do that.”