2022 Masters: The best battle of the season for the green jacket as Cameron Smith targets the red-hot Scottish Scheffler

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rarely two best teams in the game or players in a given season will receive the biggest prize of the game. Think of almost all of the Titanic collisions No. Happened over the years. Chaos ensues, teams take the lead and fans guess what it would have been like.

The 2022 Masters was not one of those times. At any rate, from any angle, Scotty Scheffler and Cameron Smith were the two best golfers in the world in 2022, and on Sunday afternoon at the Augusta National, they will meet in the first tea and not get close to anyone else when they leave. For a green jacket.

After 71 runs under 1 on Saturday, Scheffler took the lead under 9, faltering slightly late when it scored 38 in the second nine. Smith returned three under 6 after 68 for the second 68 of his week (and Saturday round). The pair emerged from a cold, windy, often lifeless third round, in which the beans were more prominent than the roar that usually falls down the Augusta National Mountains and pits on Saturday afternoon.

Seven more players are on par, with Scheffler and Smith – two of the hottest golfers alive – setting the stage for one of the biggest battles in Masters final history.

This week is the microcosm of their years. There have been 13 non-Field PGA Tour events played this season, five of which have been won by Scheffler and Smith, including at least four of the last five who have been on the field.

Since January 1, they have been number one in official world golf rankings, total strokes received (per data golf) and PGA Tour successes. 1st and 2nd place.

This week, the number of strokes ranging from tea to green, birdies created through 54 holes and their number on the leaderboard. 1st and 2nd place.

Sheffler leads Smith by three points and Sungje Im by five points. None other than Scheffler’s six or Smith’s three. Of the last 31 masters, 26 champions have come from the final pair, and a miracle round from Im – either from 2 under or 1 under golfers – is definitely there. PossibilityAt this point it takes something unthinkable for them both to jump.

Going into the third round on Saturday, I was curious as to who would rise to challenge Scheffler in the tough conditions of the week (technically, the second round scoring average was higher than the third, but the third round did not swell with the scores of amateurs. And past champions). Smith became that boy. He went out at 34 and came home on Saturday. That symmetry belies his yo-yo rounds. On Thursday, he made eight birdies and two doubles for 68 runs. In the final round of The Players Championship in March, in an event he won, Smith made 10 birds and four bars.

If you’ve been looking for a Jordan Spy Sunday roller coaster fax, Smith is your guy.

“[Winning The Players] That means I’ll be able to finish it, I think when I’ve against the best guys in the world, “Smith said Saturday.” It’s a good feeling. It earned. This was not provided to you. So, I’ll go out tomorrow and play good golf again, probably like today. Hopefully, everything will fall into place. I can not control what anyone else is going to do tomorrow. So, yes, go ahead and really focus on me. “

This Sunday is reminiscent of War 2018 McIlroy pulled inside the second hole, but Reid evaporated him in other ways. McIlroy must apply pressure that Smith could not apply to Reid over the first nine, and then allow things to do in the second nine.

After winning the WGC-Dell Technologies match play at the end of March, Scheffler gasped and talked about how much he wanted to compete. This is instructive because his swing and his game are not written as “the No. 1 player in the world” like the games of Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy or Adam Scott. Saturday night, he reiterated how much he loves this moment.

“Tomorrow should be a big fight,” Scheffler said. “Obviously, Cam is a fantastic player, and he’s had a fantastic short game, and he’s had a big win at The Players. There is, so I look forward to it. “

It’s very rare that we get Sunday at the Masters, especially golf. Since there are so many shifts at events with so many golfers on the field, it never gets shaken up to be the two best in the Sunday afternoon range.

It gets even better for stylistics. A clean Texas boy who looks like he’s approaching middle age against an Australian kid who grows chin hair enough to buy drinks.

Scheffler finished it from tea. Smith has the best short game in the world. Both flush from the fairway. This is not a fair fight because Scheffler took the first three rounds and Smith needed a healthy comeback on Sunday to pick up the belt. However, it’s best to try to get Scheffler home and keep him on track until Smith drops him.

Golf is built towards this in 2022. This year’s two defining characters collide for the most coveted outfit in all sports. They have provided so many great moments so far, and one of them has won a match in the first three months. It will be extended to four on Sunday, though we do not know who will do it.

What we do know from the evidence we have this year is that whoever wins or how it happens or gets the final score, Scotty Scheffler and Cam Smith will do what they have done so far this season. . When the weather in Georgia tries to get hot again in the afternoon, they go out and give us one more show.

Watch the 2022 Masters live streaming on Sunday Masters Live We follow the best golfers in the world throughout the Augusta National Special groupsCheck in on the popularity Amen Corner And look around the leaders Holes 15 & 16. Watch live CBSSports.comThe CBS Sports App And Paramount +.

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