Scottie Scheffler wins the Masters: a meteoric rise to be the world’s best golfer
With a three-shot victory at Augusta the American proved why he’s No.1
What a year it’s been so far for Scottie Scheffler. It’s only April but the 25-year-old American has already climbed to the top spot on the Official Golf World Rankings, having won three out of five starts on the PGA Tour. Then on Sunday he won his fourth tournament of the season, which was the biggest of them all – the Masters, his first career major title.
At Augusta National Scheffler showed why he’s the No.1 golfer in the world and “cemented his place as the dominant force in the men’s game”, said Jonathan Jurejko on BBC Sport. Scheffler claimed the Green Jacket, Masters trophy and the $2.7m (£2m) winners’ purse with a one-under 71 in the final round, finishing on ten-under, three shots clear of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
Scheffler held a three-shot overnight lead going into Sunday’s final round of the first major of the year. And afterwards he revealed that he “cried like a baby” on the morning of the final round because “he doubted if he was ready to win one of the sport’s most iconic tournaments”, the BBC added.
In his post-tournament speech, Scheffler said that the first time he thought of winning was “probably Friday in the afternoon”. When asked how it felt to be the Masters champion, he added: “I want to go home! I’m pretty tired right now – I’m really at a loss for words. I can’t thank my family enough – they’ve made many sacrifices over the years. To have the honour of winning the tournament and to have my family with me was incredible.”
With this victory, Scheffler becomes the first player to win four times in a six-start stretch on the PGA Tour since Jason Day in 2015. He becomes the sixth player to win in his first PGA Tour start as world No.1 and sixth world No.1 to win the Masters.
‘Standout player at every single level’
The last two months have been “transformative” for Scheffler, who in February “didn’t have a PGA Tour victory to his name”, said Ben Morse on CNN. Now in the “form of his life”, over the four days at the lush, sprawling golf club in Augusta, Scheffler produced “some excellent golf” and refused to “falter under the pressure of being the tournament’s leader for nearly three days”.
From the junior ranks to the PGA Tour, Scheffler has been “a standout player at every single level in his golf career”, Dane Belbeck on TheScore.com. The last few years have “established him as a player to take notice of at the highest level”, but the Texan’s run since the 2021 Ryder Cup is “an all-time heater for the sport” and has “pushed him to the forefront” of the golfing landscape.
Coaching guru Butch Harmon believes Scheffler’s dominant performance at the Masters was reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ displays earlier in his career, Sky Sports reported. Harmon, who was a previous coach of Woods, said what Scheffler has done over the last couple of months “is beyond, it’s Tiger-esque”. Harmon added: “He does it so calmly, so coolly, so relaxed. I take my hat off to him, it is unbelievable what this man has done. Three months ago, most of the golf world didn’t know who he was. They know who he is right now.”
How Woods and Nicklaus reacted to Scheffler’s win
Golf icon Woods, who was making his comeback after sustaining serious injuries in a car crash, led the praise for the new Masters champion. In a tweet Woods congratulated Scheffler on “an outstanding win” and said “it’s been a special run”.
Eighteen-time major champion Jack Nicklaus said the world No.1 “proved why he’s No.1”. Nicklaus tweeted: “Congrats to The Masters winner & first-time major champ Scottie Scheffler! Scottie didn’t have his best game at times, but he did what champions do. That was to resort to a great short-iron game, excellent putting, and very good discipline.”
Scheffler will now target further success at the next major of the season, the PGA Championship from 19-22 May at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.