AUGUSTA -- They came hard after the world’s best player, grabbing out for Scottie Scheffler’s orange shirt, even catching him once at midafternoon when the Masters felt like it could belong to anyone with an educated putter and enough cold blood.

And then, Scheffler was gone.

Pushing his way out of a four-way tie late on the front nine with a three-birdie run, Scheffler shortly made the 88th Masters his own in a bravura performance that drained the drama from Sunday’s closing hours. His 4-under 68 left him 11-under par at 277, plenty for a four-shot edge that seemed twice as wide over Swedish surprise Ludvig Aberg (69-281), playing his first major and finishing second almost by default as the rest of the field peeled away.

“I feel like I’m playing really good golf right now,” said Scheffler, going on 81 weeks as the world top-ranked player. “I feel like I’m in control of my emotions as I’ve ever been, which is a good place to be. I feel like I’m maturing as a person on the golf course, which is a good place to be.

“I think it’s hard to argue with the results of the last few weeks. I’ve been playing some nice golf.”

With Augusta National playing firm after three days of demanding conditions, a host of top-20 players tried and failed to pick Scheffler off. Collin Morikawa, who stated he had no fear of Scheffler the night before, shot 2-over 74 with a pair of double-bogeys, leaving him seven shots back at 284 and in a three-way tie for third with Max Homa (73) and Tommy Fleetwood, who shot 69 but started the day too far back (tied for ninth) to threaten.

“Around this golf course you have to stay aggressive,” Scheffler said. “You have to hit the right shots. There’s no way around it out here. You can’t play too defensive and you can’t play too aggressive. You just have to hit the right shots.

“And fortunately today I was able to do that.”

His second title in three years matches Bubba Watson, the last player to do so in 2012 and 2014. It also inserted Scheffler into some unique company among those players who have won here twice. At 27, he is the fourth youngest player to claim the green jacket twice, in line behind Jack Nicklaus (25 and 80 days), Tiger Woods (25 and 99 days) and Seve Ballesteros (26).

Also settled was the question of his wife Meredith’s pregnancy, which is in its final weeks and would have summoned him home immediately should she have begun labor. Feel free to push away now, Mrs. S.

“He is pretty amazing at letting things roll off his back and stepping up to very difficult golf shots and treating them like they’re his own,” Homa said. “He’s obviously a tremendous talent, but I think that is his superpower.”

With seven players within five shots of the lead when the day began, Scheffler gave hope to anyone who could read a scoreboard that he was vulnerable early on. He missed four of his first seven greens but some handy scrambling kept him even with par with a one-shot lead intact until he came to No. 7.

With a drive into trees on the left and a recovery shot into a bunker, Scheffler carded bogey and fell into a tie with Morikawa and Aberg. A few minutes later when Homa birdied No. 8 one group ahead of him, the Masters had four players sharing the lead.

But almost simultaneously, Scheffler stiffened his resolve while the nearest contenders lost theirs. He ran off a string of three straight birdies around the turn, nearly canning an 89-yard approach on No. 9, to reclaim sole possession of the lead. His nine-foot birdie on No. 10 puts him at 9-under for a two-shot edge that dropped the barometer on the rest of the field.

“I used that (momentum) to birdie 9 and 10 and keep pushing because I knew there were birdies out there on back nine,” he said. “I had a lot of really talented players trying to chase me down, and I knew pars weren’t going to get it done.”

In quick succession, Morikawa took two swings to escape a trap on No. 9 for double-bogey and then dropped his approach on No. 11 into the pond for another.

“I got greedy,” Morikawa said after his third straight top-10 as well as his lowest finish here. “When you’re playing really good, you don’t get greedy and I got greedy on 9. I got greedy on 11. I wasn’t pressing. I just was trying to hit it a little bit too close and greed can get the best of us.”

One group ahead of him, Aberg found the same water for another double. Although he was able to pick himself up with a bogey-free finish, Scheffler would not make himself available for a challenge.

“It was probably one of the few swings this week where I really put it in a bad spot, where I knew I couldn’t miss left,” Aberg said of the approach at No. 11. “And I missed it left.”

Homa came to grief on the par-3 12th, when his tee shot was swallowed in deep brush behind the green. Copping to an unplayable lie, he pulled yet another double. From two shots back at midround, he slowly drifted seven shots back.

“It’s bittersweet, I guess, because I feel accomplished (something) but I feel like it doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things,” Homa said “But I just feel like I learned. I feel like I took a big leap.”

All this malpractice led to the leader’s comfort. When Scheffler took bogey on No. 11, his lead actually grew from two to three shots as the field backed up. The rest of the round was played to a series of rolling ovations by fans who may have come for the theatre but were instead treated to one man’s aria.

Scheffler, who won his first green jacket by three shots, becomes the fifth player to win multiple Masters by three or more shots, joining Woods, Ballesteros, Nicklaus and Sam Snead.

“I’m definitely not going to intentionally take my eye off the ball,” he said. “I will go home, soak in this victory tonight. Will definitely enjoy the birth of my first child. But with that being said, I still love competing. 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.

“But I still love competing. I don’t plan on taking my eye off the ball anytime soon. That’s for sure.”