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It sure looked like a changing of the professional golf guard at the 88th Masters Tournament.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler started the week as the favorite and he ended up winning, just like five-time winner Tiger Woods did so many times.

While the 27-year-old Scheffler was winning his second green jacket in three years on Sunday, the 48-year-old Woods was finishing last in the field among the 60 who made the cut.

Scheffler finished at 11-under 277 after rounds of 66-72-71-68. He was ahead Woods by 27 shots and Phil Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion who is 53 years old, by 19.

More: How Ludvig Aberg finished second in first Masters trying to keep up with Scottie Scheffler

More: Scottie Scheffler ‘coming home’ to pregnant wife Meredith after Masters Tournament victory

More: How much did Scottie Scheffler win today? Masters winner’s share, purse breakdown, more

“We’ve all grown up with Tiger and Phil kind of being the front runners more than anybody else with a lot of the contenders,” said Augusta resident Luke List, who tied for 38th place. “Now it seems like Scottie he has separated himself a little bit.”

It isn’t just Scheffler who is among the young, new guard. His playing partner Sunday, Collin Morikawa, is the same age. And the runner-up, Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, is just 24.

This was Scheffler’s third win in his past four starts, and he was a runner-up in the other one. His play this year – he’s 142-under par for 35 rounds and has yet to shoot a round over par – has only widened the gap between the Texan and the rest of the golf world.

In this week’s Official World Golf Ranking, his average point total is 13.9912. World No. 2 McIllroy is at 7.6539.

It might more of the same this week. The Dallas resident is scheduled to play in the Heritage RBC, one of the PGA Tour’s signature events, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Scheffler’s appearance is subject to change depending on the status of his wife Meredith, who is due to have their first child in two weeks.

“I can’t put into words what it means to win this tournament again and really can’t put into words what it’s going to be like to be a father for the first time,” Scheffler said. “I definitely enjoy the birth of my first child, and my priorities will change very soon, so golf will be fourth in line, but I still love competing.

“And I don’t plan on taking my eye off the ball any time soon,” he said.

After his opening 67, some thought there was little doubt that Scheffler would be slipping on the green jacket again on Sunday. They were right, which is why he’s gaining the nickname “Mr. Inevitable.”

“What is he not good at?” asked Scheffler’s caddie Ted Scott. “I don’t know. I think his super power is, people that are super powerful are good at everything, and he seems to be good at everything. He doesn’t really have a weakness. I think people created a weakness in his putting. He’s not a weak putter. He’s a good putter. He’s a very good putter.”

Indeed, Scheffler finished in the top 20 in all the major statistical categories last week at Augusta National. He was second in birdies (20, along with an eagle), third in putting (76), tied for seventh in greens hit in regulation (44 of 72), 13th in driving distance (305.7 yards) and tied for 18th in driving accuracy (44 of 56 fairways hit).

“The way he’s playing right now, it’s impressive,” Morikawa said. “The distance he’s hitting it and how good he’s hitting his irons.”

Scott, who was on the bag for both of Bubba Watson’s victories at the Masters, was thinking about retiring when he got a call from Scheffler in early 2002, offering him the job.

“I had no idea he was that good,” Scott said. “We were his partner (in the two-man team Zurich Classic tournament) in New Orleans. I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s a good player, and he’s a great guy. I’d love to hang out with him.’ After two weeks, I was like, ‘This guy is really good. Now it’s like, ‘Wow, is he really good.’ I’m surprised too.’”

Now he’s gotten to know Scheffler, he knows why Scheffler is so good.

“I think discipline is a word that comes to mind,” Scott said. “I’ve heard stories, when he was 7 years old, he would show up at the golf course wearing pants, talking about he’s going to be on the PGA Tour. And he just does all the little things well, and he does them consistently. He doesn’t skip. He doesn’t miss a day.

“I think with that mentality of like, ‘I’m going somewhere with all this. I’m not just doing it in place. I’m actually doing it for a reason.’ Then when he gets in a moment, he’s got all the tools. That’s why I can put him over greens, and he can get up-and-down. And bad things can happen, and he can make a comeback, and he can hit great iron shots and woods and driving and putt and chip. How is he so good at everything? He’s been working at it since he was 7. It’s not a surprise. When you find out the background, it’s really not that surprising.”

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Scottie Scheffler, young stars dominate Masters. Is a new era starting?

Read the full article here

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