Cameron Smith started the final round of the Masters like a house on fire as a fellow Aussie entered the record books at Augusta.
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Aussie Cameron Smith is chasing his first green jacket but world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is hoping to keep him at bay.
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Smith’s early charge hits a snag, Aussie sets record
Scheffler started the day at nine-under overall, three shots clear of Smith but the Aussie wasted no time closing the gap.
He nailed two birdies on the first two holes, moving to eight-under and within one shot of the American leader.
However, Scheffler hit back with a freakish blow on the third, chipping in for his first birdie of the round with what commentators called an “unbelievable” approach shot to move ahead by two strokes.
“It wasn’t possible,” a commentator said.
Smith faltered on that same hole with a bogey and the gap was back to three shots as the momentum changed completely on that one hole.
Meanwhile, fellow Australian Min Woo Lee had an astonishing start to his final round. An eagle on the second was followed by four straight birdies to close off the front nine as he surged into the top 10.
Woo Lee’s front nine score of 30 equalled a Masters record for the lowest score across at Augusta across the first nine holes.
However, the hot streak came to an end with four consecutive bogeys on 10, 11, 12 and 13 as the 23-year-old dropped back in the field.
Woods’ incredible return comes to an end
Tiger Woods’s remarkable return to the Masters concluded with a six-over par final-round 78 to cap the 15-time major champion’s first tournament since he suffered career-threatening leg injuries in a California car crash.
Woods, clad in his traditional final-round red, again drew throngs of spectators. While there would be no record-equalling sixth green jacket for Woods, the 46-year-old superstar departed knowing that 14 months after he feared he might lose his right leg, he could withstand the rigours of tournament golf.
Woods’s 13-over par total of 301 outstripped his prior highest-72 hole total of five-over 293 — which he shot as an amateur in 1995 and in 2012. He was tied for 47th when he walked off the course — shortly after Scottie Scheffler, the leader at nine-under, teed off.
That seemed immaterial after Woods, who has already come back from multiple knee injuries and spinal fusion surgery, said as recently as February he didn’t know when he would be able to walk a full 18 holes on multiple days.
Woods, who has slumped to 973rd in world rankings, is projected to rise by a few hundred places and could be back for more major action this year.
He has lifted Grand Slam trophies at two of this year’s major venues, Southern Hills in Oklahoma, which hosts the PGA Championship next month, and St Andrews, site of July’s British Open.
Originally published as Live: Cameron Smith makes red-hot start to Masters final round