The first Major of the 2022 golfing calendar has been and gone, and what a ride it was, golf fans.
Scottie Scheffler is the newly-crowned Masters champion, Tiger Woods is back, and Rory McIlroy must settle for second place.
Masters 2022: Final top 5 standings
1. Scottie Scheffler (USA)
2. Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
T3. Shane Lowry (Ireland)
T3. Cameron Smith (Australia)
5. Collin Morikawa (USA)
We sat down with eight-times Ryder Cup player, three-times Ryder Cup captain, and Golf Care ambassador Bernard Gallacher again to discuss the main talking points from the Masters 2022.
Here’s what he had to say…
Masters 2022: Pre-tournament chit-chat
Understandably, much of the talk pre-tournament was about Tiger Woods and whether he would or wouldn’t play.
Of course, much to the delight of the golfing world, he played, and it was great to see him back.
To put things into perspective, even making the cut and walking the hilly Augusta course over the five days was a major achievement for Woods, given his last few years. Fans worldwide can now look ahead to July, where he’ll be a serious contender to clinch victory on ‘his favourite course’ at the 150th Open at St Andrews.
World number one Scottie Scheffler is the 2022 Masters champion, winning the biggest prize in the tournament’s history ($2.7 m) and, of course, the prestigious Green Jacket.
The result probably came as no surprise to many, thanks to his superb form of late, having already won the Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and more recently, the WGC Match Play this year.
Scheffler started the final round at Augusta with only a two-stroke lead over his playing partner and The Players Champion, Cameron Smith. However, the match quickly turned on the third and fourth holes, where Scheffler extended his lead to four strokes and never looked back.
Was he overwhelmed by the occasion? Perhaps. Nevertheless, he still managed to win by three.
Masters 2022: Bernard’s special mentions
Of course, there can only be one outright Masters winner, but that’s not to say others didn’t impress at Augusta this year.
Special mentions must go to…
Smith did well to keep within touching distance of Scheffler until the short 12th at Amen Corner, where he, like many others in years gone by, dumped his tee shot into the water. From there, his chances of winning quickly evaporated, and a triple-bogey 6 meant he had to settle for a tied third-place finish alongside Shane Lowry.
Lowry recorded an impressive finish, especially when you consider he also took a triple-bogey 6 at the short fourth hole after an errant tee shot. However, as you’d expect from the former Open Champion, the Irishman quickly recomposed himself, finishing with a very commendable 69 and share of third place with Cameron Smith.
The former world number one produced one of Augusta’s best-ever final rounds with a stunning 64. Although too far back to win and complete his Grand Slam, nevertheless, the rate he was birdieing and eagling his way around Augusta must have given Scheffler some concern, who quite noticeably didn’t relax until after he’d hit his final tee shot.
McIlroy was in total attack mode from the opening tee shot and capitalised on his superb driving with stunning iron shots and terrific holing out. In fact, it’s difficult to find enough superlatives for his outstanding ball striking. Holing his bunker shot at the last was pure theatre, much to the enjoyment of everybody.
Masters 2022: Disappointments
The unseasonably cold weather and strong winds at Augusta over the first two rounds, in particular, exposed the frailties in the game of some of the world’s best golfers–several of whom missed the cut.
Previous Masters winner Jordan Speith, four-time major champion Brooks Koepka, Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, former Open Champion Francesco Molinari, and the current US Open Champion Bryson De Chambeau will all be disappointed.
Nevertheless, the next major tournament gets underway in just five weeks’ time (at the time of writing), so there’s no time to dwell. All will be disappointed with their performance at Augusta but will be keen to put things right at the US PGA Championship in May.
Many thanks to Bernard for giving us his Masters 2022 round-up!
Who impressed you at Augusta? Get in touch and let us know.