Sports editor Callie Hummel discusses the major win at Augusta National from the young golfer.
Crying the morning before the final round of a major tournament isn’t the type of behavior most #1 athletes on the leaderboard would partake in, but that’s exactly what Scottie Scheffler did the morning of the first day of the Masters.
The 25-year-old golfer came out of nowhere and has grown exponentially within the past year. In just February and March, Scheffler took first in the WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and a World Golf Championships Match Play event.
Scheffler arrived at the 2022 Masters tournament having only participated in the major tournament two other times. Playing alongside some of the best players in golf such as Tiger Woods, Cameron Smith and Rory McIlroy, Scheffler still rose to the top of the ranks quite rapidly.
Tiger Woods currently has the second most Masters wins with five, most recently in 2019. Although a car accident almost inhibited Woods from competing this year, he was able to finish the entire tournament and land in 47th place out of 90 competitors. Although the placement was lower than he would have liked, Woods was simply grateful he was able to finish the entire tournament.
On the final day of the tournament, Scheffler led the competitors in the #1 spot, but Smith followed only 3 strokes behind. The daunting finish with major competitors so close behind inevitably made Scheffler quite nervous. On an important tee off, he sent the ball into the tree line. This hiccup in the beginning put Smith only one stroke behind Scheffler in the opening two holes. However that initial anxiety on the final morning wore off quickly, something Scheffler contributes to “feeling at peace on the golf course.”
Having Scheffler and Smith battle out the win down to the last hole seems as though it will be a recurring event in the coming years — if both competitors continue with the same success they’ve achieved. Both men are part of the new generation of golfers, 30 years old or younger, who are frequently winning tour tournaments.
Although Scheffler kept this unwavering concentration for the first 17 holes of the final day, the realization of his upcoming victory made him falter on the 18th hole. On the final green, his concentration turned to giddiness as he took four putts to finally get the ball in the hole. With sinking the final ball, he officially became the champion and won the tournament at 10 under. Even with his mishap on the final hole, Scheffler placed three strokes below second place, McIlroy.
Winning the Masters meant Scheffler got one of the infamous green jackets that he “hasn’t taken off,” but also means at 25 years old he’s considered the best golf player in the world. His caddy, Ted Scott, also took home the flag from the final hole, and has since used it as decoration in every room of his house.
As Scheffler goes on to play more Opens, PGA tournaments and Masters to come, there’s no doubt his name will be seen more and more.