2022 Masters takeaways: Scottie Scheffler appears to be like to show bonafides, Justin Thomas lurks coming into Transferring Day

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Maybe it shouldn’t be stunning that the No. 1 golfer on this planet, who has additionally gained three of his final 5 tournaments, shot a 67 on Friday on the 2022 Masters and holds a five-stroke on the first main of the 12 months. Nevertheless, most No. 1 gamers on this planet didn’t turn into No. 1 on this planet simply two months faraway from by no means having gained a PGA Tour occasion — like Scottie Scheffler.

The 25-year-old Scheffler’s accelerated trip this week mimics his journey during the last two months. His first PGA Tour victory got here on Feb. 13 on the Phoenix Open. His second was March 6 on the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His third went down simply three weeks later March 28 on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play, the identical day he turned the No. 1 golfer on the planet.

And now, two weeks after that, he’s tied the record by holding the largest 36-hole lead (5 strokes over 4 opponents) in Masters historical past.

Scheffler has quietly been a beast at majors over the previous couple of years. His final six begins have resulted in top-20 finishes, and he is been a statistical stalwart over the course of his profession regardless of not successful till two months in the past. Once more this week, he leads the sphere in strokes gained from tee to inexperienced, and his efficiency is definitely sustainable.

After 36 holes and two days of a Masters which have thus been dominated by the wonderful play of the returning Tiger Woods, this occasion lastly has a story exterior of the Massive Cat. 4 of the 5 golfers who’ve led by 5 strokes after 36 holes at the Masters have gone on to win a green jacket. The one one who did not accomplish that feat occurred earlier than the beginning of World Warfare II.

It mustn’t appear outlandish that the No. 1 participant on this planet would romp to a Masters victory in simply his third begin at Augusta Nationwide. And but, as a result of his rise to the highest of the world occurred as shortly because it did, doubt stays.

One of many storylines coming into the week was whether or not Scheffler was a real No. 1. The query was not whether or not he was a great golfer however quite whether or not he was merely on a heater.

A Masters win would erase all doubt about Scheffler’s current and his future. Now, the query that overwhelmed the primary a part of this week — what Tiger Woods will do on the 2022 Masters? — has been erased and changed by a man who wears Big Cat’s Nikes. The query now for Scheffler is identical one Tiger answered so many instances over the course of his profession: Will anybody catch the No. 1 participant on this planet during the last 36 holes of this main championship?

Listed here are 9 extra ideas on the second spherical of the 2022 Masters.

2. The Cat survives: Once more 71-74 won’t look nice within the historical past books, however Tiger is placing on a efficiency the ages contemplating he was shopping prosthetics this time a 12 months in the past. After going out in 39, he churned his approach to a 35 on the second 9 and simply made the weekend. Will he contend on Sunday? I do not suppose that is likley contemplating how poor he is been off the tee up to now and how broken his body is right now. Nevertheless, Saturday can be telling, and we would simply get one ultimate magic act from the Cat on the place he is dominated probably the most.

“I do not really feel nearly as good as I want to really feel,” stated Woods. “That is OK. As I stated, I’ve received an opportunity going into the weekend. Hopefully, I will have certainly one of these lightbulb moments and switch it on within the weekend and get it achieved. You’ve got seen guys do it with an opportunity going into the again 9. In case you are inside 5 or 6 going into the again 9, something can occur. I have to get myself there. That is the important thing. I have to get myself there. Tomorrow can be an enormous day.”

3. Dustin Johnson is lurking: The grind was on for D.J. on Friday after two bogeys attributable to horrific drives on Nos. 7 and 9 on the primary 9. He made 9 consecutive pars on the second 9 to get in the home with a 73 that doesn’t look nice on paper however was practically two higher than the sphere common in Spherical 2. D.J. is aware of the weekend is lengthy, and he is merely making an attempt to play his method into Sunday afternoon. His endurance and self-discipline (severely, endurance and self-discipline for D.J.) are admirable, and successful a Masters at 6 beneath can be much more spectacular than successful it at a record-setting 20 beneath like he did a 12 months and a half in the past.

4. Justin Thomas jumps, Collin Morikawa strikes: Morikawa’s slide into the highest 10 on the leaderboard was quieter than J.T.’s, however these are your two “if he goes out in 31 early within the day, issues are going to get spicy” guys to observe on Saturday. Thomas placed on a present. He matched Scheffler’s 67 late within the day, birdied Nos. 14-16 and fully coated up his 76 from Thursday. He is legitimately within the combine, and after he gained 5.6 strokes on method photographs in Spherical 2, there is a path to competition on Sunday for him that doesn’t appear inconceivable.

Watch the 2022 Masters streaming stay Saturday with Masters Live as we comply with the very best golfers on this planet all through Augusta Nationwide with Featured Groups, verify in on the famed Amen Corner and see leaders around the activate holes 15 & 16. Watch stay on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports App and Paramount+.

5. 2011 and 2016 as properly: After Thursday, I opined that with a leaderboard that included Dustin Johnson, Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith — the highest three finishers on the November Masters — that we have been getting a 2020 redux. Apparently, we’re getting extra iterations of 2011 and 2016 as properly. Charl Schwartzel (the 2011 champion) shot a 3-under 69 on Friday and sits at 3 beneath after 36 holes. He is missed his final six cuts worldwide and does not have a high 10 anyplace since final July. Danny Willett (the 2016 champion) shot 74 however nonetheless sits within the high 10. So as to add to the 2016 narrative, Willett took the co-lead at one level on Friday, and Jordan Spieth — who missed the lower — pumped two within the water on No. 12.

6. Hardest take a look at: The scoring common on Friday pushed to 74.6 principally due to nightmarish gusting winds that have been as energetic as they have been inconsistent. One of the best indication of how laborious Augusta Nationwide was on Friday? Six golfers shot rounds within the 60s, seven shot rounds within the 80s.

7. Again-to-back Hideki? I’ve maybe been most impressed with Hideki Mastsuyama’s 3-under exhibiting up to now this week. He is been a non-factor for many of the previous few months and withdrew from the Texas Open final week with a neck harm. Now? He has an actual probability to turn into the primary golfer since Tiger in 2001-02 to win two straight inexperienced jackets.

8. How nice is golf? A 63-year-old Larry Mize who averaged 230 yards off the tee this week beat a 28-year-old Bryson DeChambeau who averaged 310 yards off the tee at a golf course he as soon as stated performed as a par 67 for him. I do know DeChambeau is just not clearly not absolutely wholesome, however think about this occurring in some other sport!

9. Bubba being Bubba: Let’s all take a second to understand this preposterous shot on No. 18 that led to birdie for Bubba Watson and helped him make the weekend at Augusta.

10. Who can win? If we consider the pattern under will proceed, the winner of the 2022 Masters can be one of many following.

  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Charl Schwartzel
  • Sungjae Im
  • Shane Lowry
  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Harold Varner III
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Kevin Na
  • Cam Smith

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