With all eyes on Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler quietly assumes control at Masters

Scottie Scheffler watches his tee shot on No. 4 during the third round of the Masters on April 9, 2022.
Scottie Scheffler watches his tee shot on No. 4 during the third round of the Masters. He had a one-under-par 71 and leads by three strokes at nine under heading into Sunday.
(Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press)

Scottie Scheffler left Augusta National on Saturday evening with a simple plan, a night of binge-watching “The Office” for the umpteenth time.

“I think we are like two episodes into Season 4,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to sitting back and giggling a little bit and eating some good food.”

A night of comedy after a day of drama for the world’s No. 1 golfer, the only Masters competitor with three consecutive rounds under par.


Scheffler, 25, who six weeks ago had never won on the PGA Tour, now has three victories to his name and a three-shot lead heading into the final round of a major championship.

On a brisk and breezy afternoon, he shot a one-under-par 71 to set up a Sunday showdown with Australia’s Cameron Smith, whose third-round 68 was the low score of the day. Scheffler, who leads by three strokes, and Smith tee off at 11:40 a.m. PDT.

Tiger Woods, who was injured in a car wreck 14 months ago, hoped to vault himself into contention for a sixth Masters title with a strong third round.

April 9, 2022

“Should be a good fight,” Scheffler said. “Obviously Cam is a tremendous player, and he’s got a fantastic short game. . . . Both of us are in good form, so I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.”

As well as they’ve played, Scheffler and Smith — and most everyone else in the field — have been something of a sideshow. It’s Tiger Woods who has been in the spotlight even more than usual, having returned from a rollover car accident 14 months ago that nearly claimed his right leg.

Woods had a terrible day on the greens, with four three-putts and his first-ever four-putt in the Masters, shooting a 78 that included his first two double-bogeys of the week. Woods will play with Jon Rahm at 7:50 a.m. PDT.

“I just could not get a feel for getting comfortable with the ball,” he said. “Posture, feel, my right hand, my release, I just couldn’t find it. Trying different things, trying to find it, trying to get something, taking practice strokes and just trying to feel the swing and the putter head, trying to get anything, and nothing seemed to work.”

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the second hole during the third round of the Masters.
Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the second hole during the third round. He shot a six-over 78 and is at seven over for the tournament.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

The temperature hovered around 50 degrees, and Woods, who walked more gingerly than during the first two rounds, conceded that made it tougher on his back.

“It’s not as limber and as loose as it normally is, that’s for sure,” he said.

He’s tied for 41st at seven over, meaning he would need to shoot a scorching 65 just to finish at even par.

As for Scheffler, he had an up-and-down round with six birdies and five bogeys.

The classic white coveralls worn by caddies at the Masters have a long history, and tradition is the winner’s caddie keeps the outfit as a memento.

April 8, 2022

“I was playing some good golf, and outside of a couple holes on the back nine, I could have had a really great round,” he said. “But I still had a really good round today. Anything in the red numbers today was going to be solid.”

One of his most impressive holes was 18, after he hit his drive to the left, clipped a branch and wound up with his ball in a bush. As he walked up the hill in that direction, he was concerned the ball might be lost.

“We saw the guy with the flag that always finds the balls kind of panicking,” he said. “I was like, `Oh, crap, wonder what’s going on here.’”


When his ball was located, relief washed over him, even though it meant taking a drop in the pine straw because of an unplayable lie. Then came a hero shot, a beautifully struck three iron that sailed 255 yards up the hill, cleared the greenside bunker on the left, bounced short of the hole and rolled off the back edge, setting up a chip and a putt.

Masters memorabilia is a bustling business in Augusta, Ga., which happens to be home of the world’s most exclusive golf course, Augusta National.

April 6, 2022

It was key that he kept his cool, something that might not have happened in his younger years.

“It’s definitely something that’s been acquired over my lifetime,” he said of his calm demeanor. “I was a bit of a hothead I think in high school and college, so to be able to just stay patient and realize mistakes are going to come, and winning golf tournaments out here is not easy. It’s very challenging.”

So far, he’s handled it just fine.