AUGUSTA, Ga. – Xander Schauffele skilled a full vary of feelings on Sunday in the ultimate spherical of the 85th Masters. He fell out of competition early, roared again to make it fascinating and simply as he regarded poised to make one in all the nice comebacks in match historical past, he made a round-ruining triple bogey.
On the scorecard, it added as much as a spherical of even-par 72 and a tie for third place, however that doesn’t start to inform the story of this tragedy in three components.
Schauffele entered the ultimate spherical at Augusta National Golf Club trailing Hideki Matsuyama by 4 strokes. After a birdie at the second, Schauffele appeared to have shot himself out of the match with what he referred to as “a messy start.” He made expensive bogeys at the third and fourth gap after which doubled the fifth, which he didn’t par in all 4 rounds. At 3 over for the day via six holes, Schauffele’s deficit had grown to seven strokes. He might’ve been deflated, however he was not.
“I never gave up,” Schauffele mentioned. “It almost took the edge off.”
The rollercoaster spherical started to show for the higher with birdies at Nos. 7 and eight and kicked into high gear with a string of 4 straight birdies starting at No. 12. Meanwhile, Matsuyama made his first bogey of the day at No. 12 and over shot the 15th inexperienced with his second shot and made another bogey to provide Schauffele a glimmer of hope. He trailed by two strokes and had the tee at the par-3 16th gap.
“I was coming in hot. I was feeling good,” Schauffele mentioned. “I was in full chase mode.”
This was his likelihood to use the strain. Instead, he left Matsuyama off the hook. Schauffele tried to attract an 8-iron at the 170-yard gap and his shot hit a wall of wind and landed brief on the financial institution and rolled into the water. He went on to make triple bogey, sealing his destiny.
“I hit a perfect 8 iron,” he mentioned. “The wind was into us, left to right. It got smoked and eaten up. You could kind of see it. The ball hovered there.”
It is a shot that Schauffele doubtless will play again and again in his thoughts and take into consideration what might have been. Adding insult to damage, when he took his drop, his 9-iron flew the inexperienced.
“It seemed like it went downwind almost. (Caddie) Austin (Kaiser) and I just kind of painfully laughed at each other and said, ‘Well, I guess it switched again,’ ” Schauffele mentioned.
Let the second-guessing of how he performed his tee shot at 16 start.
“I think a lot of great shots into 16 are left to right. High cuts into that mound,” Schauffele mentioned. “I’ve been hitting a good high cut all week. I just didn’t think of it at that time. I hit like a hard draw 8-iron, and it wasn’t the shot. Moving forward, just kind of throw it in the memory bank. I’m going to keep collecting thoughts. Hopefully, I keep coming back here for years to come, and the goal is to win one day.”
Despite another close call at the Masters — Schauffele completed tied for second in 2019 — he nonetheless held his head high with how he battled again to provide Matsuyama a scare.
“I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” Schauffele mentioned. “I might be tossing and turning, but I’ll be OK.”