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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Scottie Scheffler is awarded the Green Jacket by 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan during the Green Jacket Ceremony after he won the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. Andrew Redington/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Andrew Redington / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The drama at Augusta National Golf Club often doesn’t truly begin until the second nine on Sunday. This week, the tournament could have been considered over Friday evening after Scheffler churned out six birdies over his final 12 holes in Round 2 to climb to the top of the leaderboard with a five-shot lead. 

There have been a few anticlimactic Masters tournaments over the past handful of years, but Scottie Scheffler’s victory was perhaps as methodical and machine-like as any in recent memory. 

Winners Win

The 2022 Masters wrapped up with the No. 1 golfer in the world cruising to victory and slipping on the green jacket. Scottie Scheffler won for the fourth time in six events - in just 57 days. 

The major championship fits nicely alongside his wins at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. 

Simply put, Scheffler didn’t make any mistakes this week. After all, his lone double-bogey was on the final hole while holding a five-stroke lead.

Perhaps most impressive is the variety of wins during his current heater. He won in the party atmosphere at Phoenix, in the difficult conditions at the API, and in a match-play event. 

Finally, trumping all, Scheffler won a major championship. 

The 25-year-old Texan isn’t doing anything in particular overly extraordinary. He is just doing everything well, and currently, there don’t appear to be any weaknesses in his game. 

Winners win, and Scheffler appears poised to win a lot for many years.

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Rory Roars on Sunday

Rory McIlroy fired a bogey-free 64 on Sunday to climb into second place, and while he never gave Scottie Scheffler much of a scare, it’s still encouraging for the Northern Irishman’s prospects.

It also tied the lowest final round ever at the event.

A Masters win is all McIlroy needs to complete the major grand slam, and he’s been close before. Most notably, he blew a four-shot lead and shot 80 in the final round in 2011.

It’s a promising upcoming stretch, as McIlroy is the defending champion at the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship, and he is already listed among the favorites for the PGA Championship in May.

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Major Winners Packed the Leaderboard

One of the quirks of Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters is there is often a handful of random names near the top of the leaderboard when it’s all said and done. 

This year, there weren’t many surprises. 

Cameron Champ finished tied for 10th, and he entered with +20000 odds to win the event. Otherwise, it was a who’s who of high-end players.

Major champions Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, and Danny Willett all finished inside the top 12. 

Whereas Cameron Smith, Will Zalatoris, Corey Conners, and Sungjae Im have all played well at the event in the past. 

It was an incredibly stacked leaderboard when you add the winner and World No. 1 to the list.

Death, Taxes, and Rae’s Creek 

Cameron Smith, who opened at +1400 at FanDuel, was three shots behind leader Scottie Scheffler when the final pairing got to the par-3 12th hole. Smith was six shots back when they left it.

The Aussie dunked his tee shot in Rae’s Creek, and then he overshot the green with his third shot to short side himself for the chip shot. Any potential for Smith to put pressure on Scheffler drowned.

Of course, there was another victim of note on Friday. 

The 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth dunked consecutive shots in Rae’s Creek in the second round, and he failed to make the cut as a result. 

It was eerily reminiscent of the 2016 tournament when Spieth was well on his way to winning a second green jacket only to dunk consecutive shots into the creek and open the door for Danny Willett to win.

Rae’s Creek almost always has a say.

Tiger Always Moves the Needle

It was no surprise Tiger Woods captured the attention of fans leading into this year’s Masters and, to a lesser extent, that he was the most popular golfer among bettors. 

But watching Woods battle in Round 1 and make par-saving putt after par-saving putt provided a united feeling of optimism that he might be able to pull off another historic win. 

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A pair of weekend 78s led to his worst ever four-round score (301) at Augusta National, and obviously, Woods was out of contention before the final group even teed off Saturday.

There is a lot of work ahead for Woods, but it’s definitely worth noting he won the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, which is where the event is this year. Woods also has two wins at St. Andrews Links (Old Course), where The Open Championship is being held in July.

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