Cameron Smith’s Masters dream suffered a huge blow as his early surge went to waste with a crucial error that could cost him a green jacket.
Welcome to our live coverage of the final round of The Masters.
Aussie Cameron Smith is chasing his first green jacket but world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is hoping to keep him at bay.
Smith’s countryman Min Woo Lee equalled a Masters record for the lowest score on the front nine by shooting 30, featuring four birdies and an eagle. But he fell away on the back nine and carded two-under for the round.
1st. Scottie Scheffler: 10-under through 13 holes
2nd. Rory McIlroy:7-under through 18 holes
3rd: Cameron Smith: 4-under through 13 holes
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Disaster all but crushes Smith’s Masters dream
Smith’s Masters dream is slipping away from him. He registered three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine then started the back nine on an awful note with another bogey.
Rory McIlroy was on fire, plundering four birdies and two eagles across 15 holes to be tied with Smith for second on six-under.
Scheffler could have made Smith pay for his error on 10 but the US star also bogeyed to drop to 10-under as his four-shot buffer remained.
That gap was reduced to three when Smith birdied the 11th, getting back to seven-under, before disaster struck. He found the water on the notorious par-3 12 and ended with a triple bogey six.
It saw the 28-year-old crumble to four-under and he fell behind McIlroy, while Scheffler kept his cool to remain on 10-under with six holes to play.
McIlroy does the unthinkable
Rory McIlroy closed out his Masters with a birdie at 18 courtesy of a sensational shot from the bunker.
It gave him a final round score of 64 — the lowest score of this year’s tournament — and put him seven-under overall.
Smith’s early charge falters, leader nails ‘shot of the tournament’
Scheffler started the day in the lead at nine-under overall, three shots clear of second-placed Smith but the Aussie wasted no time closing the gap.
He nailed two birdies on the first two holes, moving to eight-under and within one shot of the American.
However, Scheffler hit back with a freakish blow on the third, chipping in for his first birdie of the round with what commentators called an “unbelievable” approach shot to move ahead by two strokes.
“It wasn’t possible,” a commentator said.
Smith faltered on that same hole with a bogey and the gap was back to three shots as the momentum changed completely.
The news got worse for Smith on the fourth. Another bogey while Scheffler saved par dragged the Queenslander down to six-under overall and he was four shots behind the leader.
That’s how things stayed for the next couple of holes as Smith and Scheffler both remained even on five and six.
Smith pulled things back with a birdie on the seventh but Scheffler did the same and the four-shot gap remained.
McIlroy on the charge
Rory McIlroy emerged as a bolter to keep himself in contention with a blistering front nine featuring four birdies, before starting the back nine on a similar note.
The Irishman was five-under through 10 holes, surging to four-under for the tournament to be outright third, six shots behind Scheffler.
An eagle on the 13th saw McIlroy surge to six-under overall, one shot behind Smith and five strokes behind Scheffler.
Aussie sets Masters record
Smith’s fellow Australian Min Woo Lee had an astonishing start to his final round. An eagle on the second was followed by four straight birdies to close off the front nine as he surged into the top 10.
Lee’s front nine score of 30 equalled a Masters record for the lowest score across at Augusta across the first nine holes.
However, the hot streak came to an end with four consecutive bogeys on 10, 11, 12 and 13 as the 23-year-old dropped back in the field.
Lee added another bogey and birdie for the round, finishing with two-under — walking off the course tied for 15th as he ended at two-over for the tournament.
Woods’ incredible return comes to an end
Tiger Woods’s remarkable return to the Masters concluded with a six-over par final-round 78 to cap the 15-time major champion’s first tournament since he suffered career-threatening leg injuries in a California car crash.
Woods, clad in his traditional final-round red, again drew throngs of spectators. While there would be no record-equalling sixth green jacket for Woods, the 46-year-old superstar departed knowing that 14 months after he feared he might lose his right leg, he could withstand the rigours of tournament golf.
Woods’s 13-over par total of 301 outstripped his prior highest-72 hole total of five-over 293 — which he shot as an amateur in 1995 and in 2012. He was tied for 47th when he walked off the course — shortly after Scottie Scheffler, the leader at nine-under, teed off.
That seemed immaterial after Woods, who has already come back from multiple knee injuries and spinal fusion surgery, said as recently as February he didn’t know when he would be able to walk a full 18 holes on multiple days.
Woods, who has slumped to 973rd in world rankings, is projected to rise by a few hundred places and could be back for more major action this year.
He has lifted Grand Slam trophies at two of this year’s major venues, Southern Hills in Oklahoma, which hosts the PGA Championship next month, and St Andrews, site of July’s British Open.