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Xander Schauffele Discusses Costly Triple Bogey at 2021 Masters: 'I Was Chasing'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2021

Kyodo News via Getty Images

A dramatic comeback at the 2021 Masters was there for the taking for Xander Schauffele.

Until it wasn't.

While it appeared as if Hideki Matsuyama was going to cruise to victory for much of Sunday's final round, Schauffele notched four straight birdies from Nos. 12-15 and closed within two strokes when the eventual victor bogeyed the 15th.

However that momentum came to a screeching halt when Schauffele hit his tee shot on the par-three 16th into the water and finished with a triple bogey on the hole.

"I hit a perfect iron," Schauffele said, per ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "It was 184 yards. I can hit my 8-iron 180 yards out here. I turned it right to left; the wind was into left to right. It got smoked and eaten up. You could kind of see it. The ball hovered there."

Perhaps if he was not two strokes back with three holes to play he would have taken a different approach.

"I was chasing," he said. "I was still two back. Hideki is a great left-to-right iron player. I figured, if I hit it close, he was going to hit it right on top. I was in full chase mode, so I have no regrets from that aspect."

The end result was far more breathing room for Matsuyama, who needed every bit of it considering he bogeyed that 16th hole and the 18th hole. He ended up with a one-over 73 in the final round, putting him a single stroke ahead of Will Zalatoris for the championship at 10-under.

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Matsuyama became the first men's player from Japan to win a major championship in the process.

As for Schauffele, he tied Jordan Spieth for third place at seven-under.

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