Masters 2022 — Chasing Scottie Scheffler, tracking down Tiger Woods and other big stories for the weekend at Augusta National

Masters 2022 -- Chasing Scottie Scheffler, tracking down Tiger Woods and other big stories for the weekend at Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga.- tiger forest could be the biggest story at Masters 86.

But everyone is chasing the best player on the planet, the number 1 in the world. scottie schefflerwho has a 5-shot lead heading into Saturday’s third round at Augusta National Golf Club.

Scheffler’s lead matches the largest 36-hole lead in Masters history. Five other players led by as many strokes after two rounds, including Harry Cooper in 1936, Herman Keizer in 1946, Jack Nicklaus in 1975, Raymond Floyd in 1976 and Jordan Spieth in 2015. All but Cooper ended up winning a green jacket.

Full list of tee times for Round 3

Here’s what to watch for on Saturday at Augusta National:

Can anyone catch Scheffler?

Scheffler, 25, has had a meteoric rise in the last two months. After failing to win in his first two seasons on tour, Scheffler has won three times in his last five starts: at the WM Phoenix Open in February and the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March.

Since the Official World Golf Rankings began in 1986, no player has won their first PGA Tour or DP World Tour event, risen to No. 1 in the world, and earned their first major championship victory in the same year. There have been 25 different players to reach No. 1 in the world, and Scheffler has a chance to become the first player to achieve all three feats in the same year, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

But Scheffler has never had an advantage in a major championship. His previous best was a tie for second place after 54 holes at the 2020 PGA Championship; he finished tied for fourth. He is the third World No. 1 to hold or share the 36-hole lead at the Masters. Of the two above, one of them won (Dustin Johnson in 2020) and one of them lost (Greg Norman in 1996).

Can Scheffler keep the lead?

“If something, [having the lead] it gives me more confidence,” Scheffler said. “Once I saw that I took the lead at one point [Friday], and my first thought was to keep trying to build it just because I feel like I’m playing well. That will be the goal of entering [the third round], just to keep putting myself in good positions, take shots. As long as you’re committed to everything, everything should be fine. The rest is really not up to me.”

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Tiger Woods talks about his second round and is glad to have the opportunity to start the weekend.

In his first start at an official event in more than 17 months, Woods, who has won here five times, is 9 strokes behind Scheffler. But he is only 4 strokes away from second place.

Woods, 46, had to work especially hard to stay in the mix after bogeying four of his first five holes on Friday. He bounced back with four birdies in his last 11 holes and missed a couple of other good opportunities.

Overall, it was a gutsy performance for Woods, who was critically injured in a car crash outside Los Angeles on February 23, 2021.

“I felt good about how I defended myself [Friday]Woods said. “He could have easily kicked me out of the tournament today, but I stuck with it. Tomorrow is going to be an important day, as great and as hard as they predict. It’s going to be quick, and I need to get out there and get in there. If you’re within five or six of those last nine going into Sunday, you have a chance, so I just need to get there.”

Woods said he’s pleased his surgically repaired right leg held up through the first 36 holes.

“It worked very well,” he said. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have any setbacks along the way where I couldn’t go, but I didn’t have any setbacks. It’s all been good, it’s been tough. My team has done a great job helping me.” ready After go ahead and break [my body] out there, they go ahead and fix it at night.

Justin Thomas isn’t mad right now

justin thomas I was with Woods when he traveled to Augusta National a week ago to test out his right leg while playing 18 holes with his son, Charlie. He played two nine-hole practice rounds with Woods earlier this week.

On Thursday, it didn’t look like Thomas learned much from the 15-time Grand Slam champion’s pitch. But after a 76 in the first round, Thomas fired up and bounced back with a 5-under 67 in the second. He is tied for 10th at 1 under through 36 holes.

Thomas matched the lowest score of the second round and kept alive his streak of 18 consecutive cuts, which is the longest of any player on tour. His 9-shot improvement was also the best among players on the field.

“I don’t even know how to describe that,” Thomas said of Thursday’s first round. “That was by far the angriest I’ve been after a round in a long, long time. I don’t know. It was just one of those weird days.” [Thursday] where I just couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t get into the round. I just couldn’t get in at the time, which is sad and a bummer in the first round of the Masters.”

Thomas said he let off steam playing with his dog.

“I played fetch with my dog ​​for about 45 minutes, and [his fiancee] Jill was with me,” Thomas said. “I got cranky, peed and moaned for about 30 minutes, ate dinner and went to bed. Everything’s fine.”

The place brings out the best in them.

South Africa charl schwartzel, the 2011 champion, is tied for second at three under par. He is ranked No. 172 in the world and missed the cut seven times in nine starts on tour this season.

“The poor results didn’t really determine how I felt coming here,” Schwartzel said. “I actually took two weeks off. As the two weeks went by, my confidence grew that I could win this tournament because I was starting to hit really well.” [I] I just looked at old footage, and it’s still there.”

Schwartzel said he saw highlights of himself winning the Masters and began to believe he could do it again. When asked what impacted him most about winning at Augusta National 11 years ago, his answer was simple.

“Put on the green jacket last,” Schwartzel said.

Title Defender Hideki Matsuyamawho has been battling back and neck injuries, is also tied for second at 3 under par. Dustin Johnsonthe 2019 champion, is tied for sixth at 2-under. danny willettwho won a green jacket in 2016, is tied for 10th at 1 under.

Willett had missed the cut at the Masters in four of his last five starts. He hasn’t had a top-20 finish on tour since he tied for 18th at the RBC Classic in March 2021.

“We’re in a good position,” Willett said. “I [haven’t] I’ve been in this position for a while, and it’s good to be there.

Can Harold Varner III break the rookie drought?

Harold Varner III he was among the last six players to enter the Masters by being ranked in the top 50 in the world on March 28. He is making the most of his opportunity.

Varner is tied for sixth at 2-under after posting 71-under in each of the first two rounds.

Varner won the Saudi International in early February by sinking a 92-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole. He tied for sixth at The Players in mid-March.

“I think winning just begets winning,” he said. “I never doubted I could win, but it just never happened. I was there, I shot some big numbers when it mattered a lot and I guess maturity. But the biggest thing is just running my ride.”

Varner said that some of the best advice he received came from Woods.

“I never forget, Tiger told me the best,” Varner said. “I asked him, ‘What does it take to win?’ He said, ‘Stop worrying about winning, you’ll keep it.’ It’s helped my demeanor to do what I’m good at, play golf, hit the shot that it takes. I think you have to do that a lot here.”

Varner is enjoying his first Masters appearance with his parents and young son, Liam.

“It’s unbelievable,” Varner said. “I just saw my dad for the first time just now. He doesn’t like to watch. He gets too nervous, but I saw my mom. I can’t wait to see my son. Like I said before, he’s probably gone.” to vomit on me Yeah, it’s amazing.”

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