Scottie Scheffler is closing in on his first career major championship at the Masters, a fitting accomplishment for a player currently No. 1 ranked in the world.
The leader after 36 holes, Scheffler has maintained his lead with poise and is nine holes away from donning the green jacket. He went 2 under par through the front nine and held a four-shot lead over playing partner Cam Smith, who is tied for second at 6 under for the tournament (even on the day).
Rory McIlroy’s blistering 7 under has him 6 under for the tournament and tied with Smith, four back of Scheffler.
ROUND 3 RECAP: Scheffler hangs onto lead, while Woods falls from contention
TIGER TROUBLES: Woods’ putter goes ice cold in his worst Masters round ever
SCOTTIE & TIGER: Separated by a generation and 16 strokes at the Masters
Tiger Woods, hoping to make a run at another green jacket 14 months after a horrific car accident, carded his second straight 6-over 78 to finish tied for 47th, his worst finish as a professional.
So far so good for the Masters’ odds-on favorite entering Sunday.
Scheffler birdied two holes (Nos. 3 and 7) and played mostly mistake-free golf the rest of his first nine holes to carry a four-shot lead over his playing partner Cam Smith into the back nine. Scheffler finished the front nine at 11 under for the tournament, and he is in the same place on Sunday – as his lead has grown by one since he woke up this morning.
If Scheffler seals the deal, his birdie on No. 3 will be considered his “Masters moment.” After an errant approach shot, Scheffler chipped in on a rolling shot that skipped right into the hole.
Rory McIlroy has moved into sole possession of third place at 6 under.
Rory McIlroy stormed out to a front-nine 32 (4 under, four birdies) to move into third place behind Smith and Scheffler.
His back nine began in similar fashion.
Facing a chip shot from the fringe behind the green, McIlroy landed the ball at the top of a downward slope with a slight right-to-left tilt. Perfectly paced, the ball rolled in for birdie and moved him to 5 under through 10. Overall, McIlroy trails Scheffler by six shots.
Sungjae Im, even through seven, is also at 4 under through the tournament.
Scottie Scheffler found himself in trouble after an errant approach on No. 3 left him short of the green. The leader chipped a spinning, low shot right at the pin and the ball collided with the stick and fell in for a clutch birdie.
He has a three-shot lead through three holes over Smith.
Tiger Woods removed his cap and waved to the fans who gave him a standing ovation on his walk up the 18th fairway. Fourteen months after a devastating car accident, Woods played his first competition at the 2022 Masters and finished all 72 holes.
“It was an unbelievable feeling, just to have the patrons and the support out there,” Woods said in a CBS interview after his round. “I obviously wasn’t playing my best out there … I don’t know if words can really describe where I was a year ago and what my prospects were at that time.
“Even a month ago I didn’t know if I could pull this off. I think it was a positive. I got some work to do (and) I’m looking forward to it.”
After a 1-under first round that propelled him past Friday’s cut, Woods shot a 6 over 78 on back-to-back days to finish 13 over (T47) for the tournament.
Woods’ previous worst finish as a pro at the Masters was a T40 result in 2012.
“I have those days where I just don’t want to do it. It hurts,” Woods said. “But as I alluded to earlier, I have a great team around me that’s stayed super positive and helped me. … There have been more tough days than easy days.”
Woods told Sky Sports the only future tournament he will play in this year is The Open at St. Andrews in Scotland.
The weather has not been spring-like at the 2022 Masters, but Sunday’s climate – 73 degrees and a 6 mph wind – offered the nicest conditions of the tournament. Thursday brought rain, and after a nicer afternoon Friday, Saturday’s temperatures dropped into the low 50s and high 40s.
With the majority of scores carded this weekend hovering around par, it will be interesting if better conditions yield lower numbers in the final round.
If anyone outside of the final pairing is going to have a chance to win this year’s Masters, it’s going to take an exceptionally low round — such as Jack Nicklaus’ final-round 65 in 1986 — to claim the green jacket.
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy began the day on Sunday 10 strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler, but any amazing charge has to begin with that first birdie. McIlroy birdied No. 1 after an excellent drive and approach shot enabled him to get back to even par for the tournament.
After barely missing a birdie putt on the par-5 second hole, McIlroy rolled in another birdie on No. 3 to get to 1 under for the tournament.
Going for the green on the par-5 13th hole, Tiger Woods found himself in a bit of trouble when he missed to the left and found his ball obstructed by the branches of an azalea.
He couldn’t take his normal stance for his pitch to the green, so after some deliberation and discussion with caddie Joe La Cava, Woods decided to set up on the other side of the ball and hit his chip shot left-handed.
He made solid contact and got the ball on the green in regulation, then two-putted for a non-traditional par.
Through 13 holes, Woods is 3 over on the day and 10 over for the tournament.
Russell Henley is having himself a day.
In a week where birdies have been tough to come by, let alone a string of them, Henley is on a tear. He made four consecutive birdies to close out his front nine, and is at 5 under for the day. He’s down to 2 over for the tournament.
There have been only 13 rounds in the 60s at Augusta National this week, and Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith have combined for four of them. Even the players who have gone low have only managed consecutive birdies, rather than running off several in a row.
But with the weather heating up, so did Henley. He began his run with a 20-footer for birdie on the par-3 No. 6 and made another long putt on No. 7. He put his approach shots on Nos. 8 and 9 within 10 feet, then made the putts.
— Nancy Armour
Short-game woes continue for Tiger Woods in this year’s Masters. One of the greatest putters in golf history continues to misfire from 8-15 feet and as a result, he’s lost ground on the field midway through Sunday’s final round.
After making birdie on the par-5 second hole, Woods posted three consecutive bogeys by not getting his chips close and missing midrange putts. With a chance to get a shot back on the par-5 eighth, he had another eight-footer just miss the edge of the cup.
Woods enters the back nine 9 over for the tournament after shooting 2-over 38 on the front.
Any thoughts Tiger Woods had of going really low on Sunday were thwarted by three consecutive mishit irons on the par-3 fourth hole, par-4 fifth and par-3 sixth.
Woods’ tee shot on No. 4 found the left-side bunker and he was unable to get up and down for par. Then after an excellent drive down the middle on No. 5, Tiger came up well short of the green, chipped to about 10 feet and missed another par putt.
On No. 6, he ended up short and right of the green. After chipping onto the green, he left himself another 10-footer for par. That one slid just past the hole.
That’s 18 bogeys so far for Woods, the most he’s ever had in his professional career at a single Masters.
Through five holes, he’s 2 over for the round, 9 over for the tournament.
Tiger Woods may be too far back to challenge for another green jacket, but would it be any surprise to see him post a really low number in Sunday’s final round?
Aggressively attacking the par-5 second hole, Woods nearly held the green with a second shot that just barely cleared the front bunker. “One yard! One yard!” he yelled as the ball was in flight — and he got his wish.
From just behind the green, Woods used his putter to get close, leaving himself a tap-in birdie to get to 6 over for the tournament.
The birdie also makes this round the earliest he’s been under par in the entire tournament. He got his first birdie on Thursday at hole No. 6.
Clad in his traditional Sunday red, Tiger Woods has begun his final round of this year’s Masters. Woods found the left rough with his tee shot, but was able to find the green from 154 yards and two-putt for par.
Considering his putting problems on Saturday, a near-miss on his birdie attempt from about 30 feet away is a good solid start for Tiger.
It’s no surprise that Scottie Scheffler is a commanding favorite entering Sunday. He is priced at -200 to win the green jacket, according to Tipico Sportsbook, while the second-place Cam Smith checks in at +250.
Scheffler’s odds to win entering the tournament were about 15-1 (+1500). Smith (6 under) trails Scheffler by three strokes going into the final round.
Tiger Woods wasn’t thrilled with his putter on Saturday at the Masters, but one fan was so excited with some of Woods’ old clubs that he dropped more than $5 million to get them.
The set of clubs that helped Woods win the Tiger Slam includes irons and wedges — nine Titleist 681-T irons, 2-iron through pitching wedge, as well as two Vokey wedges. One is a 58-degree wedge, the other a 60. Both wedges have “TIGER” stamped on them. The club that gets the most attention is the 8-iron because of its small wear pattern in the middle of the face.
The set sold on Saturday for $5,156,162 at Golden Age Auctions.
— Tim Schmitt, Golfweek
AUGUSTA, Ga. — They passed each other without fanfare Saturday afternoon at the Masters, Tiger Woods going one way, Scottie Scheffler the other, literally and figuratively.
Woods, transcending his game all week, much more than a sports headline, was on his way to shooting a disheartening 6-over-par round of 78, ending whatever distant dream he had of contending on Sunday less than 14 months after crashing his SUV, shattering his right leg and fearing that he might never walk again.
Scheffler, who had never won on tour until Super Bowl weekend and now can’t stop winning, having won three times in less than two months, brought that big lead to the first tee and never lost it, finishing ahead of the field by three strokes going into Sunday’s final round.
Even with a bogey on the final hole after hitting his drive on 18 into a massive bush, Scheffler, 25, provided such a stark Saturday contrast with Woods, 46. Scheffler is the favorite to win Sunday, while Tiger is no longer a factor in a tournament he said he believed he could win, even with a rebuilt right leg.
The difference between the two men after three rounds? A generation — and 16 strokes.
— Christine Brennan, USA TODAY Sports
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Perhaps it was the biting cold. The intense wind. The expected fatigue. Or, simply, a lack of concentration.
Whatever the reason, Tiger Woods did something in Saturday’s third round that he’d never done before in all of his years playing the Masters: He used his putter four times on a green.
A four-putt for double bogey on No. 5 was a snapshot of the horrors that played out for Woods on the greens. In all, he had the four-putt, four three-putt greens, and on two other occasions he was just off the green and used his putter three times.
It was the first time in his professional career that he had more than four three-putts or worse in a round. At the end, he put his signature to a 6-over-par 78, his worst score in 93 rounds at Augusta National. After posting 71-74-78, he was 7 over and 18 shots behind leader Scottie Scheffler when he left the scoring area.
“It’s just like I hit a thousand putts out there on the greens today,” Woods said. “Obviously it’s affected the score. You take those away and I have normal two-putts, I made even-par for the day. I did what I needed to do ball striking-wise, but I did absolutely the exact opposite on the greens.”
— Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek
Scottie Scheffler has a chance to cement his place in history Sunday at the Masters, as he leads by three heading into the final round.
Tiger Woods, who won the 1997 Masters by 12 shots, entered the final day then with a nine-shot lead. Here’s a list of the biggest 54-hole leads at the Masters.
— Riley Hamel, Golfweek
AUGUSTA, Ga. — As catchphrases go, Jim Nantz’s “Hello, friends,” is, to borrow from another go-to expression, “Better than most.”
He’s delivered it for countless voicemail messages as well as in an episode of the hit CBS show “How I Met Your Mother.” So, how did Nantz coin his signature phrase? There’s a good story behind it that dates to almost 20 years ago.
Nantz was as close as father and son could be, and so it came as no surprise that he embraced helping his father, Jim II, endure Alzheimer’s with both strength and grace.
It was important to Nantz that his voice be in his father’s room, so he made sure his father’s assisted-living center in Houston always had his TV schedule. On his way to the 2002 PGA Championship, Nantz visited his dad and told him he was going to deliver a special coded message in the broadcast for him.
With an ever-present smile, a booming voice and a gift for gab, Nantz’s father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1995 and died in 2008, always owned a room. During the opening to the Saturday show, Nantz started the telecast by saying “Hello, friends,” an homage to his Pops, who had a knack for making fast friends.
— Adam Schupak, Golfweek
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Greg Sissel of Denver was in the right spot at the right time Saturday at Augusta National to make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Sissel was in the gallery to the right of the 10th green as the final group came through in the late afternoon. He watched as Charl Schwartzel bombed a drive 344 yards, leaving a 136-yard approach that he laced perfectly above the hole, with the ball hitting about 10 feet above the hole before rolling back into the bottom of the cup for an eagle.
Schwartzel then pulled the ball from the hole and tossed it into the gallery as the patrons roared.
“We almost left to go to Amen Corner, but we decided to stay and I’m glad we did,” Sissel said. “When he threw it up, I said, ‘It’s coming our way,’ and if my friend had better hands he would have got it, but he fouled it off to me. That was the most exciting shot we’ve seen here.”
The eagle was just the 10th on the 10th hole in Masters history but the second this week as Gary Woodland did it during Friday’s second round.
— Dennis Knight, Savannah Morning News