Masters analysis: 10 notes to know on Scottie Scheffler’s win, final round


When his competition made repeated tactical errors on the back nine, Scottie Scheffler hit the accelerator, with birdies on six of his last 11 holes to win the Masters.

In a time when off-course happenings dominate the game’s discourse, golf’s inevitability is Scheffler’s stoic greatness. His wildest personality trait is his unorthodox footwork during his swing, which precedes a direct pounding by the center of his club’s face. He rolled down Magnolia Lane a certified pre-tournament favorite and leaves a two-time champion.

Here are the top numbers and notes to know from the final round of the 88th Masters.

1. With the victory, 27-year-old Scheffler is the fourth-youngest player in Masters history to win twice, behind only Jack Nicklaus (25), Tiger Woods (25) and Seve Ballesteros (26). He did so in just his fifth start, the fastest to win the Masters tournament twice in 88 years. Only Horton Smith, who won two of the first three in 1934 and 1936, did it in fewer tries.

Scheffler’s two Masters victories have been by three and four shots. He’s the fifth player in Masters history to win by three or more multiple times: Nicklaus, Woods, Ballesteros and Sam Snead each did it twice. Scheffler, though, is the only player to do it two times in three years.

2. Over the last few seasons, Scheffler has accomplished several things statistically that draw comparisons to Woods. Last season, he had the best strokes gained tee-to-green average for a single PGA Tour season since Woods in 2006. He had the lowest bogey average in a season since Woods in 2002.

Now he’s won multiple major championships while ranked No. 1 in the world. Since the Official World Golf Ranking began in 1986, only Scheffler and Woods have won more than one major while in the top spot. Tiger did it 11 times.

Only two players have won multiple titles at both TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National: Scheffler and Woods. The only men to win The Players Championship and the Masters in the same year? Again, just Scottie and Tiger.

The first three wins of Woods’ 2001 season were at Bay Hill, TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National. Those are Scheffler’s three wins to date in 2024. If you’re interested in a future wager regarding the continuation of this parallel, Tiger’s next win in ’01 came at the Memorial.

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3. Scheffler has been, far and away, the best iron player on the PGA Tour since the beginning of last season. In a terrifying development for his peers, Scheffler won the Masters by four without his greatest weapon. Scheffler ranked well outside the top 10 for the tournament in strokes gained approach, losing shots to the field in that statistic in rounds 2 and 3. He hit 64 percent of his greens in regulation, something he’s done in only one other tournament in the last 12 months.

Instead, his often underrated short game took center stage. Scheffler led the tournament in strokes gained around the green, picking up multiple shots on the field in that metric in each of the first three rounds. This was absolutely crucial, as Scheffler hit the fewest greens in regulation for the week by a Masters winner since Zach Johnson in 2007.

Scheffler has now won three times in 2024. He has not recorded a round over par.

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Ludvig Åberg finished solo second in his first Masters. (Michael Madrid / USA Today)

4. Ludvig Åberg finished alone in second place, four shots behind Scheffler. No player has ever won the Masters in his first major start. Only the world’s best recorded a better score this week than Åberg.

Fuzzy Zoeller remains the last player to win in his Masters debut, doing so in 1979. Since then, three Masters rookies have finished alone in second place: Dan Pohl in 1982, Will Zalatoris in 2021 and Åberg. Three players have finished T2 in their debuts in that span, among them fellow Swede Jonas Blixt in 2014.

The other rookie who finished tied for second in 2014 was Jordan Spieth. Like Åberg, Spieth was beaten by a player winning his second Masters in three years — Bubba Watson. Åberg certainly hopes his path at Augusta National is closer to Spieth’s than his countryman: Blixt has never again finished in the top 20 in a major, while Spieth came back the following year and won wire to wire.

5. Collin Morikawa began the day with a chance to become the fourth player to win the Masters, PGA Championship and The Open Championship before turning 30, joining Nicklaus, Woods and Gary Player. But double bogeys at 9 and 11 led to a 74, tying the highest final-round score of his accomplished major championship career. Sunday was just the second time in 62 major rounds in which Morikawa made multiple double bogeys or worse.

Max Homa finished tied for third, the best result of his major career. It’s his second consecutive top-10 result in a major following a tie for 10th at Royal Liverpool last summer. Homa’s only bogey on the first nine all week came Sunday on the seventh hole. That’s particularly remarkable considering in his first 12 career rounds at Augusta, he never broke par on the front nine. Chris DiMarco in 2005 remains the last player to not card a single bogey on holes one through nine in a Masters.

6. Only three players shot a lower final-round score than Tommy Fleetwood (69), as the Englishman produced his best result at the Masters. With his tie for third, Fleetwood is one of just five players with a top-five finish in each of the four men’s major championships since 2017. The others are Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Morikawa and Tony Finau.

In a tie for sixth was Cameron Smith, one of the most consistent performers at Augusta National in recent years. Smith has finished in the top 10 in five Masters since 2018, one of just two men to do that. Rahm, who handed Scheffler the green jacket Sunday evening, is the other.

7. Bryson DeChambeau finished in a tie for sixth, his best result at the Masters. His previous best finish came in his debut, a low-amateur performance back in 2016.

DeChambeau shot a brilliant 65 in Round 1 but struggled to consistently find that magic in the ensuing three days. DeChambeau is one of 19 players since 1990 to begin a Masters with a score of 65 or lower. Only three others in that span also followed it up with scores over par in rounds 2-4. After ranking second in the field in strokes gained putting in the first round, DeChambeau lost more than 3 1/2 shots on the greens the rest of the week.

8. Rory McIlroy shot a closing 73 to finish tied for 22nd place. McIlroy has now played 10 Masters since earning the third leg of the career grand slam at the 2014 Open Championship. None of the five men to win the grand slam required more than three tries to get their missing piece.

The brilliant approach play numbers McIlroy assembled in San Antonio last week didn’t duplicate on the grounds of Augusta National. At the Texas Open, McIlroy enjoyed his best single strokes gained approach week on the PGA Tour in nearly five years. He ranked in the middle of the pack in that metric at the Masters.

It’s been more than 3,300 days since McIlroy’s last major victory, the 2014 PGA Championship. Next month’s PGA returns to the site of that win, Valhalla Golf Club.

9. Woods completed the 100th round of his Masters career Sunday, becoming the 21st player all time to reach that benchmark. The high point of his week was easily his gritty Friday performance, when he fought through 23 holes to make his 24th consecutive cut, a Masters record. The effort clearly did a number on Tiger’s surgically held-together body, as his gait and ability to pick the ball out of the hole visibly deteriorated on the weekend.

Woods’ 72-hole score of 304 is the highest of his major championship career. Like McIlroy, Woods has won a PGA at next month’s venue, his 1999 playoff triumph over Bob May. Unlike McIlroy, it remains to be seen if we’ll see Woods tee it up — this week was the first time he’s completed 72 holes in an official tournament since February 2023 at Riviera.

10. Sunday marked the 29th time in the last 34 Masters that the champion emerged from the final group on Sunday. The 11th hole (4.39 strokes) played as the most difficult to par for the second time in the last three years. Either the 5th or the 11th has played as the toughest every year since 2018.

Scheffler’s winning score of 11-under marks the seventh consecutive Masters where the champion was double digits under par, extending an already record-long streak.

The PGA Championship begins in 32 days.

(Top photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images)





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