2022 Masters takeaways: Scottie Scheffler looks to prove what Bonafides is, Justin Thomas lurks upon entering Moving Day

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the world’s No. 1 golfer, who has also won three of his last five tournaments, shot a 67 and held a five-stroke at the 2022 Masters on Friday, the first major of the year. However, most world No. 1 players didn’t become world No. 1 just two months after never winning a PGA Tour event — like Scottie Scheffler.

25-year-old Scheffler’s accelerated ride this week mimics his journey over the past two months. His first win on the PGA Tour came on February 13 at the Phoenix Open. His second was on March 6 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His third went down just three weeks later on March 28th at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the same day he became the No. 1 golfer in the world.

And now, two weeks later, He has equaled the record for the largest 36-hole margin (five shots over four competitors) in Masters history.

Scheffler has been a quiet beast with the majors in recent years. His last six starts have resulted in top-20 finishes and he’s been statistically a perennial throughout his career despite winning just two months ago. He continues to lead the field in shots from tee to green this week and his performance is certainly sustainable.

After 36 holes and two days of Masters thus dominated by the amazing play of the returning Tiger Woods, this event finally has a narrative outside of the Big Cat. Four of the five golfers who led by five shots after 36 holes the master won a green jacket. The only one that did not accomplish this feat happened before the start of World War II.

It shouldn’t seem far-fetched that the world No. 1 player would claim a Masters victory in his third start at Augusta National. And yet, because his rise to the top of the world was so rapid, doubts remain.

Whether Scheffler was a real No. 1 was one of the storylines that came up for the week. The question wasn’t whether he was a good golfer, but rather whether he was just standing on the heater.

A Masters win would remove any doubt about Scheffler’s presence and his future. Now, the question that overwhelmed the first part of this week — What will Tiger Woods do at the 2022 Masters? – was deleted and replaced by a man wearing Big Cat Nikes. The question for Scheffler is now the same one Tiger has answered so many times throughout his career: will anyone catch the world No. 1 over the final 36 holes of this major championship?

Here are nine more thoughts on the second round of the 2022 Masters.

2. The cat survives: Again, 71-74 might not look good in the history books, but Tiger puts down an eternal performance considering he was rummaging through prosthetics around this time a year ago. After being eliminated in 39, he worked his way up a 35 in the back nine and easily made it through the weekend. Will he compete on Sunday? I don’t think that’s likely given how poor he’s been off the tee so far and how broken his body is right now. Saturday will tell though, and we might just get one last act of magic from the cat in the spot he dominates the most.

“I’m not feeling as well as I would like to feel,” Woods said. “That’s fine. As I said, I have a chance to go into the weekend. Hopefully I’ll have one of those lightbulb moments and turn it on over the weekend and get it done. You’ve seen guys do a chance to go into the back nine. If you’re within five or six of going into the back nine, anything can happen. I have to take myself there. That’s the key. I have to take myself there. Tomorrow will be a big day. ”

3. Dustin Johnson Lurks: After two bogeys caused by terrible drives in the front nine in places 7 and 9, DJ continued on Friday. He made nine straight pars on the back nine to come home with a 73 that doesn’t look good on paper but was almost two better than the field average in Round 2. DJ knows the weekend is long and he’s just trying to play his way into Sunday afternoons. His patience and discipline (seriously, patience and discipline for DJs) are admirable, and winning a Masters with 6 under would be even more impressive than winning it with a record-breaking 20 under like he did a year and a half ago.

4. Justin Thomas jumps, Collin Morikawa moves: Morikawa’s slide into the top 10 in the rankings was quieter than JT’s, but those are your two “when he goes out in 31 early in the day things get hot” guys to watch on Saturday. Thomas put on a show. He matched Scheffler’s 67 late in the day, shagging the Nos. 14-16 and completely obscuring his 76 from Thursday. He’s rightly in the mix and after gaining 5.6 strokes on approach shots in Round 2 there’s a path to the competition for him on Sunday that doesn’t seem out of the question.

Catch the Masters 2022 live on Saturday master live We follow the world’s best golfers through Augusta National Featured Groupscheck in at the famous Amen corner and see the guides around the turn Holes 15 & 16. Continue watching live CBSSports.comthat CBS Sports App and Outstanding+.

5. 2011 and also 2016: After Thursday, I felt we would get a repeat for 2020 with a leaderboard that included Dustin Johnson, Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith – the top three finishers at the November Masters. Apparently we’re getting more iterations from 2011 and 2016 as well. Charl Schwarzel (the 2011 champion) hit a 3-under 69 on Friday and is 3-under after 36 holes. He’s missed his last six cuts worldwide and hasn’t had a top 10 anywhere since last July. Danny Willett (the 2016 champion) shot 74 but is still in the top 10. To add to the 2016 narrative, Willett took over on Friday the co-lead at one point, and Jordan Spieth – who missed the cut – pumped two the water to No. 12.

6. Hardest test: Friday’s scoring average rose to 74.6, largely due to nightmarish gusts of wind that were as brisk as they were erratic. The best indication of how tough Augusta National was on Friday? Six golfers hit rounds in the ’60s, seven rounds in the ’80s.

7. Back to Back Hideki? I was perhaps most impressed this week by Hideki Matsuyama’s 3 Under performance. He has been a non-factor for most of the past few months and retired from the Texas Open last week with a neck injury. Now? He has a real shot at becoming the first golfer to win two straight green jackets since Tiger 2001-02.

8. How great is golf? A 63-year-old Larry Mize, who averaged 230 yards from the tee this week, beat a 28-year-old Bryson DeChambeau, who averaged 310 yards from the tee, on a golf course he once said played for him as a played par 67. I know DeChambeau isn’t clearly not completely sane, but imagine this happening in any other sport!

9. Bubba is Bubba: Let’s all take a moment to appreciate that absurd shot in 18th place that resulted in a birdie for Bubba Watson and helped him see through the weekend in Augusta.

10. Who can win? If we believe the trend below continues, the winner of the Masters 2022 will be one of the following.

  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Charl Schwarzel
  • Sunjae Im
  • Shane Lowry
  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Harold Varner III
  • DustinJohnson
  • Kevin Well
  • Cam Smith

Leave a Comment