Augusta, Ga. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler just wanted dinner. The best option, he decided, would be for him and his wife, Meredith, to get some takeout and go back to their rented house so that he can rest before the final round of the Masters.
On his way home, Scheffler spilled his dinner.
“Meredith is still laughing at me,” Scheffler said. “She thought it was the funniest thing ever.”
Whenever he returns to the Masters, for the rest of his life, there is guaranteed to be at least one night where Scheffler’s dinner will not require transportation. The Masters champion gets to go to the Masters Club dinner, and Scheffler now has a permanent seat at that table when his 10-under 278 score helped him take on Rory McIlroy for his first major championship at Augusta National on Sunday. Got a three shot win.
It further cemented his position as the No. 1 player in the world, it was his fourth career win – all coming in a span of about two months – and was limited to a week where the pressure that came with the 25-year-old had to be overcome. To be in the Masters competition seemed to handle easily.
He cried when his first Masters Invitational came in 2020. They will never stop coming now.
“That’s the best part about this whole deal,” Scheffler said. “It’s such a fun golf course. It’s such a fun piece of property. I mean, it’s Augusta National. It’s about as good as it gets. It’s a lot of fun to play. I can’t believe that.” I can come back and enjoy this golf course for a lifetime.
McIlroy closed with a flourish, his 8-under 64 on Sunday sent him vaulting over the leaderboard and moving to second after starting the final round 10 shots back. Shane Lowry (69) and Cameron Smith (73) finished third, five shots behind Scheffler. Smith started the birdie and briefly got within a shot, before a two-shot swing on the third hole – Scheffler chipped for a birdie, Smith made a bogey – reinstated order. Scheffler held the lead the rest of the way, and not even making a double-bogie 6 over the finishing hole ended his march towards the green jacket.
“Scotty has just been kind of ineffective,” McIlroy said.
The No. 1 Tee and No. 18 Green at Augusta National are relatively close to each other, which means that at around 2:40 p.m., that little piece was the absolute center of the golf universe. Scheffler was on one side, starting his march towards his first Masters victory. Tiger Woods was coming on the other side, finishing the comeback tournament after his career – and life – could have ended in a February 2021 car accident in the Los Angeles suburbs.
Numbers-wise, it was Woods’ worst Masters ever, one of his worst tournaments of all time. Of the 52 players who made the cut, Woods defeated five of them. He scored 78 for the second day in a row, 13 overs 301 at the end of the week, 23 shots off the lead.
And he was thrilled. he finished. Nothing else mattered to the five-time Masters winner.
“It’s been a tough road, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to grind through it,” Woods said. “A lot of different things could have happened, but (after 14 months) I’ve been able to fix that and play in the Masters.”
Augusta National does not let past champions go, a part of the tradition that has been celebrated since the beginning of the tournament. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player started the week with formal tee balls, this time with Tom Watson joining in for the first time.
“I want to say how honored I am to be with Gary and Jack,” Watson said before taking his formal swing. “I’ve seen this ceremony many times in the past… and to be a part of this thing, I’m really humbled.”
That’s what Augusta does. It humbles. It celebrates. And for the lucky few, like Scheffler, it’s crowned.
The place has been a famous part of the Scheffler family story over the years, not for the reasons one would think. Schaeffler drives about 200,000 miles on a 2012 Chevrolet Yukon, and was bought at Augusta a decade ago. Scott Schaeffler, the father of the new Masters winner, was there that year and the vehicle he was driving died. He was there to see Bubba Watson, and the car that Senior Scheffler drove for Augusta “ended up” on the trip.
“Everyone got a T-shirt,” said Scott Scheffler. “I got paid for the car.”
Scott Scheffler could barely contain his emotions on Sunday night. He tells the story of proudly holding a flashlight so that his son, who was a small child, can shoot extra balls at the driving range at night. He gives all the credit for his son’s success to himself. And on Monday, he’ll be driving that Yukon home.
Yes, the Yukon is still his son’s car. Was there on Sunday. Scott Scheffler will use it to bring home the family dog on Monday. It’s anyone’s guess that Yukon is coming back next year.
It is certain that Scottie Scheffler is coming back.
The new Masters champion was unable to control her tears on Sunday, the enormity of the moment she had been getting for a while. He dropped that dinner on Saturday. None of it sounded funny at the time. And then, on Sunday night, wearing his new green jacket, it all made sense.
“I never expected that I would sit where I am,” Scheffler said. “You know, you don’t expect things in this life to come to you. You just do the best you can and the hand you deal with and just go from there. I’ve never really Didn’t think I was that good at golf, so I just kept practicing and working hard, and I just keep doing that.”
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