Berliner Tageblatt - Scheffler grabs Masters lead while Woods fires nightmare 82

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Scheffler grabs Masters lead while Woods fires nightmare 82
Scheffler grabs Masters lead while Woods fires nightmare 82 / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Scheffler grabs Masters lead while Woods fires nightmare 82

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler battled through a back-nine shootout to seize a one-stroke lead over Collin Morikawa after Saturday's third round of the Masters while Tiger Woods endured a nightmare collapse.

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Scheffler's remarkable shotmaking under pressure, including a clutch eight-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to shoot a one-under par 71 and stand on seven-under 209, capped a wild round at Augusta National.

Scheffler, the 2022 Masters winner, lost the lead with a double-bogey at 10, recaptured it with an eagle at 13 and birdied two of the last four holes, success prompting fist-pumps from the typically mellow Texan.

"The putts were important to me. I try to feed off the positive energy of seeing the ball go in," Scheffler said. "Did a good job of staying patient, had the eagle at 13 and finished well."

Scheffler made four birdies, three bogeys, an eagle and a double-bogey to hold off US compatriot Morikawa, a two-time major winner who fired a 69 to stand on 210.

"You give yourself a chance with 18 holes left, that's all you can really do and everything that you practice for," Morikawa said. "It's going to be a grind, and I'm looking forward to that.

American Max Homa was third on 211 after a 73 with Sweden's Ludvig Aberg, making his first major appearance, fourth on 212.

Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, holed out from 77 yards at the 18th for birdie to shoot 75 and stand fifth on 213, four shots back.

"Gave myself a chance," DeChambeau said. "If I can make some putts tomorrow, I think I can have a good opportunity."

Woods, a 15-time major winner, fired his worst-ever Masters round, a 10-over 82, to stand on 11-over 227 and stumble out of contention for a record-tying sixth green jacket and record top prize of $3.6 million.

"I was not hitting it very good or putting well," Woods said. "Just hit the ball in all the places that I know I shouldn't hit it."

Oddsmakers' darling Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, could join Woods as the only players to win the Masters twice while world number one.

Scheffler, holed out a 32-yard birdie chip at the first hole, sank a 34-foot birdie putt at the third before a bogey at the par-3 fourth.

He went over the 10th green with his approach and three-putted for double-bogey then missed a five-foot par putt at 11.

Scheffler bounced back with a stunning 31-foot eagle putt at the par-5 13th and an 11-foot birdie putt at the par-5 15th to seize the lead and answered a bogey at 17 with his closing birdie.

Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 British Open champion, sank a 27-foot birdie putt at the first hole, a six-foot birdie putt at the par-45 second then birdied from 11 feet at the third.

After a bogey at the par-3 sixth and birdie at the par-5 eighth, he parred his way to the clubhouse, hitting every fairway for the first time in any major.

- Aberg embraces pressure -

Aberg, a member of Europe's triumphant 2023 Ryder Cup squad, fired a 70 in his bid to become the first rookie to win the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

"I think about it all the time," Aberg said of what might happen. "I don't think you should shy away from it. I try to embrace it and be OK with all that comes with it."

Woods, who a day earlier made the Masters cut for a record 24th consecutive time, had bogeys on four of his last five holes to soar past his prior worst Masters total -- 78s in the third and fourth rounds in 2022.

"I was not hitting it very good or putting well," Woods said. "I missed a lot of putts. Easy, makable putts."

His six-over 42 on the front nine was another Masters career worst.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy, who needed a Masters win for a career grand slam, shot 71 to stand on 219.

"I've just got to keep showing up and try to do the right thing," McIlroy said.

Third-ranked Jon Rahm, the defending champion, fired a 72 to stand on 221.

F.Müller--BTB