2024 Masters leaderboard, winner: Scottie Scheffler's patience begets second green jacket in three years

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Three straight birdies at the turn made the inevitable reality as Scottie Scheffler pulled away from a packed leaderboard at the 2024 Masters to become the 10th man in history to claim two green jackets in a three-year span. The 27-year-old Scheffler, spending his 82nd straight week as the No. 1 golfer in the world, left no doubt Sunday that what was already known is indeed true: every golf tournament he plays goes through him.

Scheffler finished 11 under -- four strokes clear of the field -- after entering the 88th playing of the Masters as an overwhelming favorite. He did nothing to dissuade his supporters over the first three rounds, either leading or staying within a single stroke after 18, 36 and 54 holes entering Sunday's finale.

Once a two-stroke lead after three holes became a four-way tie entering the turn Sunday, Scheffler flipped a switch and never looked back. He added to that three-birdie stretch from Nos. 8-10 by scoring three more on the 13th, 14th and 16th to keep Ludvig Åberg (-7) -- finishing second while playing in his first career major championship -- at arm's length.

"It's a difficult golf course to close out a win on," Scheffler explained. "You can't play overly defensive. ... You have to play to the correct spot and hit really good golf shots. I did that to the best of my abilities today and was fortunately able to hit some really key shots and make some nice birdies there on the back nine. Really, from hole 8 on, I played really, really nice golf."

Scheffler on Sunday became the 18th man to win two Masters and the first to do so over a three-year span since Bubba Watson (2012, 2014). He is also the fourth-youngest two-time Masters champion and the eighth golfer to win the first two major championships of his career at Augusta National. 

With the 2024 tournament being his fifth Masters appearance, Scheffler is the second-fastest to have green jackets take up two hangers in his closet, the quickest to the achievement in 88 years (Horton Smith, third appearance, 1936).

Despite how simple Scheffler can make the game look, this Masters was anything but easy for the top name in the game. His iron play wasn't at his usually excellent level for most of the week, his tenor was tested plenty -- his pregnant wife and best friend not by his side like usual, instead at home days or weeks away from giving labor -- but when the correct shots in the correct moments were called upon, Scheffler answered.

Fighting his swing early on Sunday, Scheffler found himself in a dog fight with Åberg, Collin Morikawa and Max Homa all nipping at his heels. Scrambling saves were required to maintain his lead as he missed greens both short and long.

An uneasy feeling, Scheffler's short game took matters into its own hands. At its best when the tournament is often its tensest, his soft touch produced a stunner on the third from the bunker for his first birdie of the day.

His pursuers purred and had their moments, though. Åberg turned in 33 to touch the lead, Morikawa answered a Scheffler birdie on No. 8 with one of his own, and Homa lashed a mighty approach into 10.

The peloton was formed with 10 holes to play, and the thought of four of the best players in the world jostling through the second nine at Augusta National on Sunday raced through the minds of many. Unfortunately his peers, Scheffler raced away from the three-player pile up.

First, it was Morikawa who couldn't keep up as the two-time major champion needed two from the greenside bunker on No. 9 and ultimately carded a double bogey. Another followed on the 11th when his second found a watery grave.

Åberg had crashed just before them with the same fatal mistake. The Masters rookie battled back, it was too little too late. He ultimately became the third debutant in the last five years to finish runner-up.

Homa stood as Scheffler's last real threat as he sent a prayer into the air on Amen Corner's treacherous par-3 12th. It wasn't answered as Homa's ball traveled a yard too long, took a firm bounce and found a bush. Another double bogey ensued.

From a pack of four, only Scheffler was left standing.

While others took the bait and got greedy, Scheffler displayed discipline. While others tried to tame a brutally difficult Augusta National, Scheffler stayed patient. While others' emotions got the best of them, Scheffler remained calm.

Scheffler's superpower, his mental game, shined through when it mattered most. His ball striking gets praised and his short game is respected, but Scheffler's greatest strength has nothing to do with the club in his hand and everything to do with the mind of the person wielding it. The one now donning a second green jacket in three years.

Youngest two-time Masters champions

GolferYearAge

Jack Nicklaus

1965

25 years, 80 days

Tiger Woods

2001

25 years, 99 days

Seve Ballesteros

1983

26 years, 2 days

Scottie Scheffler

2024

27 years, 298 days

Horton Smith193627 years, 320 days

2024 Masters leaderboard breakdown

2. Ludvig Åberg (-7): After starting his Masters career with a 73, Åberg fired three straight under-par rounds including the only one in the 60s on Friday. A member of the penultimate pairing on Sunday, the Masters rookie felt it on the greens early. He curled in a ticklish birdie on No. 2 and another on No. 9 to head into the second nine with a share of the lead. Getting too aggressive down the hill into the 11th green, the young Swede's approach found the water and led to a double bogey -- his only dropped shots of the day. Åberg bounced back with two birdies over his next three holes to apply a smidge of pressure on Scheffler, but by then, the damage was done. The major debutant will learn from this mistake and be better for it. For now, he'll have to settle for a solo second.

T3. Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Tommy Fleetwood (-4): Both Morikawa and Homa looked strong early. The two-time major champion did not miss a single approach shot across his first eight holes but was unable to connect on the greens. He stood square with Scheffler through this stretch of the golf course, but greed got the best of him on No. 9 when he tried to get too much out of his approach ultimately leading to the first of two double bogeys in a three-hole stretch. 

Meanwhile, Homa was a surgeron around Augusta National. Picking and choosing his spots with care, the 33-year-old's birdie on the long 10th meant he had jumped into a share of the lead. He may have been too cautious when all is said is done as he erred long on the 12th, which led to his double bogey and refused to hit driver on the par-5 13th electing to play it as a three-shot hole. Still, it represents Homa's best major result and the return of major Morikawa.

"Greed got the best of me," Morikawa said. "Nine, can't miss it over there and can't leave it in the bunker. Eleven, just tried to hit too perfect of a shot. It's not like at that point I was trying to press. I knew where I stood. Yeah, it's just can't do that. In the past, I haven't done it, but kind of where the game's at. You kind of find your little stride. We put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together this week, but after watching Scottie this week, I know what to do if I really want to close this gap on what he's doing and how impressive he's playing."

T6. Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau (-2): After shooting the round of the tournament (65) on Thursday, DeChambeau carded three straight over-par rounds. The former U.S. Open champion fared well in the difficult conditions on Friday, but he lost his touch on the greens over the weekend. Remaining patient for the first half of the tournament, his aggression got the better of him late on Saturday and sunk his Masters chances. He fought back nicely with his hole-out on 18 in Round 3 and a couple birdies in the middle of his first nine on Sunday, but it was all for not. DeChambeau's T6 is his first finish inside the top 20 in his Masters career.

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Take it in, Scottie Scheffler!

That is his sixth birdie in his last nine holes. Scheffler tacks one on 16 and his lead is four with two holes to play. The green jacket might as well be his.

 
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3 up 3 to go

Scottie Scheffler makes par on No. 15 to remain at 10 under and three clear of Ludvig Aberg. Three pars should secure him his second Masters title in three years. 

 
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Scheffler birdies 14

He is up three with four to go. He taps in his fifth birdie in the last seven holes and now heads to the par-5 15th. Aberg was unable to go for the green in two after a wayward drive and needs to put a wedge close.

 
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Aberg keeps fighting

The young Swede has rattled off two straight birdies to get within two of Scottie Scheffler. The world No. 1 just made birdie on 13 to get to 9 under. It looks like it will come down to these two as Max Homa sits four adrift at 5 under with only four holes to play.

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