Scottie Scheffler has dominion over Masters and all of golf

Scottie Scheffler hugs his caddie Ted Scott after winning his second Masters at the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin /

Credit: Hyosub Shin /

Credit: Hyosub Shin /

Scottie Scheffler hugs his caddie Ted Scott after winning his second Masters at the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin /

AUGUSTA – The one-and-only, the original was fading at a heartbreaking rate right before our eyes. So by Sunday afternoon at the Masters, auditions for the next Tiger Woods – or a reasonable facsimile – had become even more urgent.

Good news, though. Scottie Scheffler stepped up and dazzled. He once more confirmed that he is the most certain thing in golf this side of overpriced cart fees. The kind of dominance he displayed in winning his second Masters in three years dripped with Tiger-esque undertones.

For another convenient comparison point, there’s this: Woods won his second Masters in his fifth professional start. Scheffler just won his second in his fifth appearance. Make of that what you will.

Most Masters, they say, don’t begin until the back nine on Sunday. Scheffler’s Masters just go there for a nap. When he won in 2022, he never trailed by fewer than three strokes over the final 15 holes. Took him a little longer this time to gain that sort of edge, but by No. 12 he was three clear and gaining separation. How about six birdies over his last 11 holes – just one less than the total of his next four closest pursuers combined over the same stretch?

“I did not ever let myself get attached to the lead. I just tried to keep pushing,” Scheffler said afterward.

At the end – no matter the static of a momentary four-way tie for the lead early in the day – he was as unchallenged as a Russian president on election day. Scheffler finished 11-under and 4 strokes up on the Swedish Masters rookie Ludvig Aberg. And 7 up on a trio tied for third.

Golf needed that kind of display of dominance after what it lived through earlier in the day. An hour before Scheffler teed off for his final round, Woods had finished just about the worst Masters of his life.

The five-time Masters champion had hung a 77 atop his 82 on Saturday to come in 16-over for the tournament and sad, dead last on the weekend leaderboard. Not that he had been much of a factor since winning here in 2019, but the depth of Woods’ decline was still wrenching. It hurt the eyes to watch, almost like staring into an eclipse without the blackout glasses. And it drove home again just how badly this fractured game needs one true star to lead it.

No one else was going to step up and volunteer for the job Sunday. No one was going to match Scheffler for calm under fire. In a matchup of cool customers in these majors, where low heartbeat so often wins, put your money on the lanky Texan with the old west stoicism every time.

One by one, those chasing Scheffler spit the bit. Morikawa suffered two double bogies in three holes before reaching the heart of Amen Corner. Max Homa spent a good part of the afternoon searching for his ball in the lovely ground cover behind the 12th green, before settling for double bogey there.

Surprisingly, Scheffler’s most serious challenger was the 24-year-old Swede playing in not only his first Masters, but also his first major. But when Aberg put his approach to No. 11 in the drink, just put his scorecard in a longboat, set it on fire and send it up Rae’s Creek for a proper Viking funeral.

Watching Scheffler whale on a golf ball with his feet flying around in so many unconventional directions, he looks like a guy auditioning for Dancing with the Stars, not the next great golfer.

But his record confirms that pretty can’t trump performance. Scheffler’s on a ridiculous – dare we say Tiger-like – roll of late. This Masters makes it three wins in his last four events, with a T-2 thrown in. None of his 35 rounds this year have been over par. He hasn’t missed a cut since August, 2022.

The great Scheffler dichotomy is in how he balances a very strong professed sense of perspective with an insatiable hunger to win.

On one hand, as he anticipates the birth of his first child, he says: “My priorities will change here very soon. My son or daughter will now be the main priority, along with my wife. So golf will now be probably fourth in line (add his faith in there, too).

Yet on the other, he recounts this conversation he had with his buddies Sunday morning before leaving for the course:

“I told them, I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as I do. I think it would make the (Sunday) mornings easier,” he said.

“But I love winning. I hate losing. I really do. And when you’re here in the biggest moments, when I’m sitting there with the lead on Sunday, I really, really want to win badly.”

It is not necessarily the greatest news for his peers that as Scheffler processes these emotions, he comes up with this plan: “I try not to think about the past or the future too much. I love trying to live in the present. I’ve had a really good start to the year, and I hope that I can continue on this path that I’m on.

“I’m going to continue to put in the work that’s got me here.”

They’re all chasing one man again. And golf so badly needs that kind of clarity now more than ever.