AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods may be the largest story of the 86th Masters.
However everyone seems to be chasing the most popular participant on the planet, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who has a 5-stroke lead going into Saturday’s third spherical at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership.
Scheffler’s lead is the biggest 36-hole lead in Masters historical past. 5 different gamers trailed by as many strokes after two rounds, together with Harry Cooper in 1936, Herman Keizer in 1946, Jack Nicklaus in 1975, Raymond Floyd in 1976 and Jordan Spieth in 2015. All however Cooper ended up profitable a inexperienced jacket.
Full listing of tee instances for Spherical 3
Right here’s what to maintain an eye fixed out for Saturday at Augusta Nationwide:
Can anybody catch Scheffler?
Scheffler, 25, has had a meteoric rise over the previous two months. After failing in his first two seasons on tour, Scheffler has received 3 times in his final 5 begins – on the WM Phoenix Open in February and on the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play in March.
Because the Official World Golf Rankings started in 1986, no participant has received their first PGA Tour or DP World Tour occasion, climbed to No. similar 12 months. There have been 25 totally different gamers to achieve world No. 1, and Scheffler has an opportunity to turn out to be the primary participant to perform all three feats in the identical 12 months, based on ESPN Stats & Data.
However Scheffler has by no means been forward in a serious championship. His earlier document was a tie for second after 54 holes on the 2020 PGA Championship; he completed tied for fourth place. He’s the third world No. 1 to carry or share the lead of the 36 holes of the Masters. Of the earlier two, one in all them received (Dustin Johnson in 2020) and one in all them misplaced (Greg Norman in 1996).
Can Scheffler hold his head?
“If something, [having the lead] offers me extra confidence,” Scheffler stated. “As soon as I noticed that I had taken the lead in some unspecified time in the future [Friday], and my first thought was to maintain making an attempt to construct it simply because I really feel like I’m taking part in nicely. This would be the goal of getting into [the third round], simply to maintain placing myself in good positions, executing photographs. So long as I decide to every thing, every thing must be high quality. The remaining is absolutely lower than me.”
Tiger Woods talks about his second spherical and is pleased to have an opportunity forward of the weekend.
In his first begin in an official occasion in over 17 months, Woods, who has received right here 5 instances, is 9 strokes behind Scheffler. However he’s solely 4 photographs from second place.
Woods, 46, needed to work particularly laborious to remain within the recreation after lacking 4 of his first 5 holes on Friday. He rebounded with 4 birdies on his final 11 holes and missed just a few different good possibilities.
All in all, it was a daring efficiency for Woods, who was severely injured in a automobile crash exterior Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021.
“I felt good about the best way I fought again [Friday]”Woods stated. “I might have simply kicked myself out of the match right now, however I held on. Tomorrow goes to be an necessary day, as cool and as tough as they predict. It’s gonna be fast, and I gotta get on the market and get on with it. For those who’re underneath 5 or 6 on that again 9 earlier than Sunday, you’ve an opportunity, so I simply gotta get there. »
Woods stated he was pleased his surgically repaired proper leg held out for the primary 36 holes.
“It labored rather well,” he stated. “I hoped for no setbacks alongside the best way the place I couldn’t go, however I haven’t had any setbacks. All the things has been good, has been powerful. My group has completed a hell of a job getting me prepared. As soon as I’ve moved on and paused [my body] there they go forward and repair it at evening.”
Justin Thomas just isn’t offended anymore
Justin Thomas was with Woods when he traveled to Augusta Nationwide every week in the past to check out his proper leg whereas taking part in 18 holes along with his son, Charlie. He performed two nine-hole apply rounds with Woods earlier this week.
On Thursday, it didn’t appear to be Thomas had gained a lot data of the 15-time main champion’s journey. However after a first-round 76, Thomas warmed up and bounced again with a 5-under 67 within the second. He’s tied for tenth at 1 underneath over 36 holes.
Thomas tied the bottom rating of the second spherical and stored alive his streak of 18 straight cuts, which is the longest of any participant on tour. His 9 shot enchancment was additionally one of the best amongst gamers on the sphere.
“I don’t even know methods to describe it,” Thomas stated of Thursday’s first spherical. “That was by far probably the most pissed off I’ve been after a journey in an extended, very long time. I don’t know. It was simply a type of bizarre days [Thursday] the place I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t enter the tower. I simply couldn’t get into the second, which is unhappy and disappointing within the first spherical of the Masters.”
Thomas stated he handed out whereas taking part in along with his canine.
“I performed fetch with my canine for about 45 minutes, and [his fiancee] Jill was there with me,” Thomas stated. “I simply sulked and pissed and moaned for about half-hour, then I had dinner and went to mattress. All good.”
The place brings out one of the best in them
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, the 2011 champion, is tied for second at underneath 3. He’s ranked No. 172 on the earth and has missed the minimize seven instances in 9 homer begins this season.
“The unhealthy outcomes didn’t actually decide how I felt coming right here,” Schwartzel stated. “I truly took two weeks off. Over the 2 weeks, my confidence grew within the perception that I might win this match as a result of I used to be beginning to hit it rather well. [I] I simply checked out some outdated photos, they usually’re nonetheless there.”
Schwartzel stated he watched one of the best moments of his Masters win and began to imagine he might do it once more. When requested what struck him most about profitable Augusta Nationwide 11 years in the past, he had a easy reply.
“Placed on the inexperienced jacket on the finish,” Schwartzel stated.
Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, who has battled again and neck accidents, can also be tied for second at 3 underneath. Dustin Johnson, the 2019 champion, is tied for sixth at 2 underneath. Danny Willett, who received a inexperienced jacket in 2016, is tied for tenth at 1 underneath.
Willett had missed the minimize on the Masters in 4 of his final 5 begins. He hasn’t completed within the prime 20 on tour since ending tied for 18th on the RBC Basic in March 2021.
“We’re in a superb place,” Willett stated. “I [haven’t] I’ve been on this place for some time, and it’s good to be right here.”
Can Harold Varner III break the rookie drought?
Harold Varner III was among the many final six gamers to make the Masters line-up by being ranked on the earth prime 50 as of March 28. He makes probably the most of his alternative.
Varner is tied for sixth at 2 underneath after posting 1 underneath 71 in every of the primary two rounds.
Varner received the Saudi Worldwide in early February with a 92-foot eagle putt on the 72nd gap. He completed tied for sixth at The Gamers in mid-March.
“I feel profitable is simply profitable,” he stated. “I by no means doubted I might win, but it surely simply by no means occurred. I’ve been there, shot excessive numbers when it mattered loads, and I assume the maturity. However the factor crucial factor is just to guide my journey.”
Varner stated among the greatest recommendation he obtained got here from Woods.
“I always remember, Tiger informed me the largest factor,” Varner stated. “I requested him, ‘What does it take to win?’ He stated, ‘You cease worrying about profitable, you’ll hold it.’ It helped my conduct to do what I’m good at, taking part in golf, hitting the shot that requires it, I feel it’s important to try this loads right here.
Varner is having fun with his first Masters look along with his dad and mom and younger son, Liam.
“It’s superb,” Varner stated. “I simply noticed my dad for the primary time. He doesn’t like to look at. He will get too nervous, however I noticed my mother. I can’t wait to see my youngster. Like I stated earlier, he’s most likely going to vomit on me. Yeah, that’s nice.