Masters 2022: Scottie Scheffler Tops Leaderboard by 3 Strokes Entering Final Round

Adam WellsApril 9, 2022

Scottie Scheffler chips to the second hole during the third round at the Masters golf tournament on Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Scottie Scheffler is 18 holes away from winning his first career major tournament.

The 25-year-old ended the third round at the Masters with a 71, bringing his 54-hole score to nine under par.

After being tied for third place at the end of Thursday, Scheffler has finished atop the standings in each of the past two days. His first birdie Saturday came on the par-five second hole.

The Masters @TheMasters

Scottie Scheffler birdies No. 2 and brings his lead back to five strokes. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/themasters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#themasters</a> <a href="https://t.co/UDLgxmVrCR">pic.twitter.com/UDLgxmVrCR</a>

Scheffler extended his lead to six shots with another birdie on No. 3. He did give a shot back with a bogey on the fourth hole, ending his streak of bogey-free holes at 19 dating back to No. 3 on Friday.

Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny

Scottie Scheffler looks like he’s playing a different course, or a different game, from everybody else. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Masters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Masters</a>

The bogey certainly did nothing to change Scheffler's approach the rest of the day. He added two more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 11 under.


Scottie Scheffler's in cruise control.<br><br>He's birdied 3 of 6 holes today. <a href="https://t.co/oMKAHwSsjP">pic.twitter.com/oMKAHwSsjP</a>

ESPN @espn

Back-to-back birdies 👀<br><br>Scottie Scheffler holds a six-shot lead‼️<br><br>Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/themasters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#themasters</a> on ESPN+ ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/O2RHoZCB6V">https://t.co/O2RHoZCB6V</a> <a href="https://t.co/onX0Db1yhz">pic.twitter.com/onX0Db1yhz</a>

Scheffler did try to make things interesting with back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15 to fall back to single digits under par. He would go birdie-bogey over the final two holes to stay at nine under par overall.

Ryan Whitney @ryanwhitney6

I like Scottie Scheffler but he’s ruining my weekend

Much has already been made of Scheffler's rapid ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. He didn't win his first PGA Tour event until February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he's added two more titles since then.

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

With a win in this match, Scottie Scheffler would reach world no. 1 just 42 days after his first PGA or DP World Tour win.<br><br>Shortest gap between those 2 things happening all-time is Tiger Woods, 252 days. David Duval 2nd at 532 days.

"I’ve prepared for a long time to be in moments like this and to win golf tournaments," Scheffler told reporters after the second round. "And like I said at the beginning of the week, I've done all the preparation I can do. And if I win this golf tournament, then great; and if I don't, that's OK, too, because I did everything I could and I'm prepared and the rest isn't up to me."

After finishing tied for 18th at the 2021 Masters, Scheffler posted top-10 finishes in each of the final three major tournaments last year.

Tiger Woods had his second consecutive rough outing after a promising start in the first round. The five-time Masters champion is seven over par after a 78 on Saturday. He did have one of the best shots on the day with a near-eagle out of the bunker on the par-five second hole.

The Masters @TheMasters

How to play hole No. 2, as displayed by Tiger Woods. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/themasters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#themasters</a> <a href="https://t.co/UnQ2PBvrxl">pic.twitter.com/UnQ2PBvrxl</a>

The fifth hole is when things really started to get out of hand for Woods. He four-putted after getting on the green in two shots. Two of his missed two putts were from inside of six feet, resulting in a double bogey.

Another bogey on nine left Woods at three over par when he made the turn. The 46-year-old got back on track briefly with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13.

The Masters @TheMasters

Back-to-back birdies for Tiger Woods on hole Nos. 12 and 13. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/themasters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#themasters</a> <a href="https://t.co/6F0LDlETfl">pic.twitter.com/6F0LDlETfl</a>

The wheels fell off for Woods down the home stretch. He closed the round with consecutive bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 and a double bogey on No. 18.

Putting has been the biggest issue for Woods in the past two rounds, but it was especially problematic Saturday. He averaged two putts per hole, including the four-putt on five and four three-putts.

Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless

In the cold, the greatest clutch putter ever had no feel Augusta's putting-on-glass greens. 4 3-putts and a 4-putt. So: 71-74-78. Yet: IT IS ASTONISHING THAT TIGER WOODS IS MERELY PLAYING, LET ALONE PLAYING PRETTY WELL, AT THIS YEAR'S MASTERS. CONGRATS, MAN.

"I was hitting too many putts," Woods told CBS Sports' Amanda Balionis Renner after his round. "... I think I had four three-putts and a four-putt. Honestly, I didn't really feel like I hit it all that bad. I just had absolutely zero feel for the greens, and it showed."

The rest of Woods' game looks to be fine. He had his highest percentage of fairways hit (79) and greens in regulation (61) of the tournament on Saturday.

If Woods can get his short game on track in the final round, he can finish strong and build some positive momentum as he looks ahead to whatever his next event will be.

Cameron Smith finds himself in second place after posting the lowest score of the third round. The Australian shot a 68 on Saturday, dropping his 54-hole total to six under par.

Smith briefly got within three strokes of Scheffler during his run of three birdies in four holes from Nos. 12 to 15.


Making a move 👀<br><br>Cameron Smith is now within 3. <a href="https://t.co/xb22LHM5e3">pic.twitter.com/xb22LHM5e3</a>

Smith gave another shot back with his first bogey of the day on No. 16. He would make par on his final two holes to stay at six under heading into the final round.

Sungjae Im (-4), Charl Schwartzel (-2) and Shane Lowry (-2) are on Smith's heels for the second spot on the leaderboard. Schwartzel at one point got to six under par, but he couldn't stay at that level because of four bogeys over his final eight holes.

Nobody played a perfect round Saturday, keeping the door ajar for some potential fireworks in the final round. Scheffler is still comfortably in the driver's seat to win, but his margin of error got smaller with his struggles on the back nine.