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U.S. golfer Scottie Scheffler wins 2022 Masters, claiming first major title

Click to play video: 'A preview of Canadian golfers at The Masters' A preview of Canadian golfers at The Masters
The first golf grand slam of the season takes place next weekend in Augusta, Georgia. The Masters is the unofficial kick-off to the Canadian golf season for many, and there is a lot of Canadian content that will be tracking through Amen Corner. Mike Arsenault has more with Canadian golf media personality Adam Stanley – Apr 2, 2022

World number one Scottie Scheffler held rock steady and cruised to a three-shot victory at the Masters on Sunday while Cameron Smith’s Green Jacket hopes, like so many others, disappeared in a watery grave in Amen Corner.

American Scheffler started the final round at sunny Augusta National with a three-shot advantage over Australian Smith and quickly saw it chopped to one after two holes.

Scottie Scheffler and caddie Ted Scott celebrate on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

But the 25-year-old American did not panic, carding a one-under 71 to post a winning total of 10-under 278, three clear of Rory McIlroy, to collect his first major title.

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McIlroy had the round of the day by returning an eight-under 64 as the Northern Irishman made a stirring late charge in a bid to claim the elusive Masters title that would have allowed him to complete the career Grand Slam.

The year’s first major was poised for a thrilling showdown between the planet’s two hottest golfers in Scheffler, winner of three of his last five PGA Tour starts, and Smith, who claimed golf’s unofficial fifth major at the Players Championship in March, headed out in the final pairing.

That was the way the final round unfolded until the par three 12th in the heart of notorious Amen Corner when Smith, trailing Scheffler by three, put his tee shot into Rae’s Creek and took a triple bogey six, sending him down the leaderboard.

A rattled Smith never recovered, slumping to a one-over 73 to finish five back in a tie for third with Irishman Shane Lowry, who closed with 69.

Scottie Scheffler and wife Meredith Scheffler celebrate on the 18th green after Scheffler won the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Though having left his run too late to catch Scheffler, McIlroy nevertheless electrified the crowd when he holed a 55-foot bunker shot at the par-four 18th at Augusta National.

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After landing the ball on the edge of the green and watching it curl slowly and deliciously downhill into the middle of the hole for a birdie, a pumped-up McIlroy reacted as though he had just won the Masters and completed the career Grand Slam.

“That’s as happy as I’ve been on the golf course right there,” McIlroy said. “Probably come up a little bit short but I gave it a great go and I can’t ask anything more of myself.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after chipping in for birdie from the bunker on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“It’s going to be my best finish ever, probably not quite good enough but I’ll come back next year and keep trying.”

McIlroy’s 64 was the eighth in the final round at the Masters, the most recent by Jordan Spieth in 2018. Greg Norman and Nick Price hold the outright course record of 63.

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Not to be outdone, British Open champion Collin Morikawa also holed his shot from the same bunker moments after McIlroy.

McIlroy finished at seven-under 281, but in the end had left himself too far behind Scheffler at the start of the day to have a realistic chance, after teeing off 10 shots behind.

“It’s what you dream about, getting yourself in position,” McIlroy said.

“I wasn’t quite close enough to the lead but to play as well as I did and to finish like this is absolutely incredible.”

McIlroy has won a British Open, a U.S. Open and two PGA Championships, but still needs a Masters to complete the Grand Slam of all four modern majors.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and caddie Harry Diamond celebrate after chipping in for birdie from the bunker on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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