The Masters - Golf: Scheffler's incredible year continues

11 April 2022 19:44:53 GMTPlus10
Scottie Scheffler was crowned Masters champion on Sunday

Scottie Scheffler's sensational 2022 shows no signs of stopping after he came through a tense final round at Augusta National to clinch the US Masters.

Scheffler making incredible strides

The American held off challenges from both Cameron Smith and Rory McIlroy on Sunday to clinch a three-shot victory and add a first major title to his collection, rubber-stamping his position atop of the world rankings.

Scheffler's victory makes it four wins from his last six outings and he also becomes the second player, alongside Ian Woosnam, to win the Masters in his first appearance as world number one.

With the world seemingly at his feet, the 25-year-old is 11/1 to clinch further major success at the 2022 PGA Championship from 19th-22nd May, which takes place at Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since Tiger Woods' victory there in 2007.

Woods return inspirational

Speaking of Woods, he finished The Masters in 47th position, not quite the dream return to action he had envisaged, but the sheer fact he managed to complete 72 holes is very impressive.

The American's passion for the game and determination to keep competing with the very best is second to none and he showed glimpses of the Tiger that won his 15th major at the 2019 Masters.

Speaking to Sky Sports after Sunday's round, Woods, who can be backed at 50/1 to win the 2022 PGA Championship, said he isn't sure whether he will be teeing it up at Southern Hills Country Club.

He said: "I won't be playing a full schedule ever again, so it will just be the big events. I don't know if I will play Southern Hills or not."

While the PGA Championship may come too soon for the US ace, Woods did reveal he will be competing at The 150th Open at St Andrews from 14th-17th July.

The 46-year-old completed the career Grand Slam at the historic venue with his record-breaking win in 2000, while he also won the Claret Jug in 2005, and he is excited ahead of his return to Scotland.

"I'm looking forward to [The Open Championship] at St Andrews," Woods added. "That is something that's near and dear to my heart, I've won two Opens there, it's the Home of Golf and it's my favourite golf course in the world. I will be there for that one."

Optimism for McIlroy

Another player that leaves Georgia on a hugely positive note is Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who made a charge up the leaderboard on Sunday to finish in second place.

The 32-year-old shot a superb eight-under-par 64, capped off with a sensational hole-out from the bunker on the 18th hole for a birdie, to record his best finish at Augusta National in 14 attempts.

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McIlroy's second place was also his best showing in a major since claiming tied-second at The Open in 2018 and this could be exactly what he needs to kick-start his season.

The world number seven is 14/1 to win the PGA Championship for the third time, while he can be backed at 14/1 to triumph at the Open Championship for the second time in his career.

Open champions finish well

Shane Lowry and Collin Morikawa, who won their respective Claret Jugs in 2019 and 2021, will be happy with their work in Georgia after they both recorded top-five finishes.

The Irishman ended up in a share of third alongside Australian Cameron Smith, who may take some time to get over the triple-bogey six at the par-three 12th hole that cost him his chances of a first Green Jacket.

As for Morikawa, he carded a five-under-par 67 to finish in sole possession of fifth and his performance will have done him the world of good after looking out of sorts over the first few days at Augusta.

Lowry is priced at 40/1 for the PGA Championship and Morikawa is 14/1.

Concern for stumbling Rahm

It has been a difficult time for Spaniard Jon Rahm, who lost his world number one spot a few weeks ago and could only finish T27 at the US Masters.

The 27-year-old has not tasted success since breaking his major duck at the 2021 US Open and his spiky reactions during press conferences, most notably when asked about his putting this season, are not helping his cause.

Rahm is certainly not going away anytime soon, his quality is undeniable, but a second major at the PGA Championship, priced at 11/1, could be a stretch based on latest form.

Disappointment for DJ

Another player leaving Georgia slightly downbeat is Dustin Johnson, who started strongly with an opening round of 69 but faded away after that.

The American, who is 16/1 to win the PGA Championship, ended up T12 on one-over-par and he did disappoint over the final 36 holes, despite being seen as someone who could come out of the chasing pack to challenge.

Johnson's last win in American came at the 2022 US Masters, while his most recent success was at the 2021 Saudi International on the DP World Tour.

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