Augusta Masters: Bhatia T-35, Theegala T-45; Scottie Scheffler wins again

Augusta Masters: Bhatia T-35, Theegala T-45; Scottie Scheffler wins again

PTI | Augusta | Updated: 15-04-2024 09:39 IST | Created: 15-04-2024 09:39 IST
Augusta Masters: Bhatia T-35, Theegala T-45; Scottie Scheffler wins again
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Indian American golfers, Akshay Bhatia and Sahith Theegala finished Tied 35th and Tied 45th respectively even as World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler secured a four-shot win at Augusta National to claim his second Masters in three years.

Bhatia (72,75,74), who was making his debut, carded a one-over 73 in the final round, while Theegala, who was playing for the second time after being in the Top-10 last year, stumbled to a three-over 75 after three successive 74.

Bhatia, who has had a whirlwind fortnight including a win and a spot into the Masters, said, "I haven't truly understood what's happened the last couple weeks. Everything about it is amazing. Volunteers, all the green jackets, they were so kind, so welcoming, so congratulating.

''I think being my first Masters, it's pretty cool kind of being the last person in. All in all, it was an awesome week. Had a lot of family out there, and it was a special week for a lot of us.'' Theegala said he made few ''mental mistakes''.

''I was just so happy last year with how I played. I played great all week last year. My game feels better than it did last year. I just made so many mental mistakes. ''Just got a little antsy and tried to push things, and my short game was off. I putted probably four or five three-putts today.'' Scheffler lived up to his billing to win a second Green Jacket in three years at Augusta National Golf Club.

Scheffler, who started as a big favourite, opened the week with a 66 and had rounds of 72 and 71 in the tougher windy conditions. He entered the final day with a one-shot advantage.

Scheffler pulled away to sign for a 68 and finish at 11-under, while Swede Ludvig Aberg carded 69 to be the nearest challenger at seven-under on his Major Championship debut.

Aberg was three shots clear of Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood and American duo Max Homa and Collin Morikawa.

Korea's Byeong Hun An posted his best Masters Tournament finish with a tied 16th but was left ruing a cold putter which saw him miss out on an automatic return to Augusta National by a single stroke.

The 32-year-old signed off on his fifth appearance at the year's opening major with a 3-over 75 where his scorecard included a mix of five birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey. The top-12 finishers and ties earn invitations back to next year's Masters.

Tom Kim fired the day's lowest of 66, highlighted by eight birdies, to share 30th place with amongst others, compatriot Si Woo Kim, who signed off with a 70 in what was his eighth successive Masters appearance. Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the lone Asian to win the Masters in 2021, closed with a 74 for tied 38th.

For some time, Scheffler did have to share the lead. Yet, a hat-trick of birdies from the eighth steadied him and there was no scare after that. He survived Amen Corner in level par while his challengers faced a lot of problems.

Scheffler arrived at Augusta on the back of finishing first, first and second in his last three starts, with top 20s in each of his four Masters appearances, including his win in 2022.

As well as the favourite's tag, he also had the possibility of having to withdraw mid-event with wife Meredith expecting the couple's first child imminently but he took it all in his stride and produced one of the most dominant Masters performances of recent years.

''It's a very special time for both of us. I can't put into words what it means to win this tournament again. I really can't put into words what it's going to be like to be a father for the first time. I'm looking forward to getting home and celebrating with Meredith,'' he said. ''It's been a long week here without her but I'm just looking forward to getting home. I will definitely enjoy the birth of my first child but with that being said, I still love competing. My priorities will change here very soon.

''My son or daughter will now be the main priority, along with my wife, so golf will now be probably fourth in line. But I still love competing. I don't plan on taking my eye off the ball anytime soon, that's for sure.'' Fleetwood made birdies on the first, seventh and 13th in a bogey-free 69 to finish two shots clear of Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith, with Xander Schauffele the only other player in red numbers at one under.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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