Masters 2023

Masters 2023: Scottie Scheffler's ugly 4-putt says a lot about how the defending champ's week has gone

April 07, 2023

Patrick Smith

It was the story of Scottie Scheffler’s week in a matter of no more than a minute.

The defending Masters champion has been stone cold with the putter this week. In Thursday’s opening round, Scheffler hit 16 of 18 greens. Normally, in the soft scoring conditions, that would figure to be a card in the mid-60s for the World No. 1 and one of the best putters on tour. In a testament to his talent, Scheffler still shot four-under-par 68 despite needing 32 putts.

But it got worse for the Texan on Friday, when he shot the worst score of his Masters career, a three-over 75, while being last in the field in strokes gained/putting. The biggest damage came at the par-4 ninth, after a 340-yard drive, Scheffler hit a good approach that didn’t quite stay on the middle shelf where the flagstick is. Nevertheless, he had an uphill putt of 31 feet. But Scottie did the thing you absolutely cannot do—hit the putt just far enough past the hole (four feet) to give himself a downhill knee-knocker coming back.

Sure enough, Scheffler’s putt appeared to roll over the right edge of the hole and didn’t stop until it was longer than the previous putt—five feet. Not taking much time, Scheffler stroked his next roll, and it burned the same edge to a deflating tap-in for a four-putt 6.


Of course, it wasn’t the first four-putt of the week from a top-3 player in the world. Jon Rahm suffered one at No. 1 on Thursday, and then shot 67 to tie for the lead. Unfortunately for Scheffler, he didn’t have 17 holes still to play, and in his best chance to regain a shot, he suffered a terrible three-putt at 13, going from eagle chance to par when he missed a four-foot putt for birdie. He didn't make a birdie on the back nine, and