Who will don the green jacket as champion of the 86th Masters?
Scottie Scheffler enters the final round Sunday at Augusta National with a three-shot lead on Australian Cameron Smith. Scheffler was 11-under par through 11 holes during Saturday’s third round and threatening to run away with it before stumbling a bit down the stretch. He made bogey on four of the final seven holes to finish at 1-under 71 for the day and 9 under for the tournament.
Smith had the best score of the day with a 4-under 68 to get to 6 under through three rounds. Sungjae Im was third at 4 under, while Charl Schwartzel and Shane Lowry were tied for fourth at 2 under.
Corey Connors and Justin Thomas were 1 under and Danny Willett was even, making just eight golfers at par or better for the tournament through the third round.
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
Sunday’s final round began with Adam Scott and Cameron Davis the first pairing off the tee. Woods and playing partner Jon Rahm, a favorite entering this tournament, teed off at 10:50 am Scheffler and Smith will go at 2:40 pm in the final pairing.
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 him.
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 Sportsbookwhile 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 Mastersbut 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 78ending 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 wineven 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 headings 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 from him? 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 father 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 from him, 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. I have 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
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism