(CNN) — Scottie Scheffler clinched his second Masters title in style on Sunday, cementing the American’s status as the preeminent force in men’s golf.

The world No.1 was unshakeable at Augusta National, shrugging off attacks from multiple challengers to finish four shots ahead of Sweden’s Ludvig Åberg and add to his victory in 2022.

Scheffler had arrived at the 88th edition of the tournament as the odds-on favorite and proved bookmakers correct, a closing four-under 68 lifting him to 11-under overall and sealing his third win in just over a month, as well as a $3.6 million cut of a Masters-record $20 million prize purse.

Unmoved by blustering winds that swept away many of his big-name rivals across the week, at times it looked like the only person capable of denying Scheffler another green jacket was his imminent first child.

The Texan had vowed to abandon the tournament if his wife Meredith went into labor, with the due date expected within the next few weeks.

“I’m coming home. I’ll be home as quick as I can. I love you,” Scheffler replied when asked by Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley if he had a message for his wife.

“You’re about to make me cry here in Butler Cabin. It’s a very special time for both of us. I can’t put into words what it means to win this tournament again. I really can’t put into words what it’s going to be like to be a father for the first time.

“I’m looking forward to getting home and celebrating with Meredith. Its been a long week here without her.”

Scheffler will have a chance for more glory when the men’s major circuit heads to Kentucky’s Valhalla Golf Club next month for the PGA Championship, won for the third time by Brooks Koepka last year.

Woods struggles, Åberg soars

Scheffler’s ninth PGA Tour title – and third in his last four starts – sees the 27-year-old become the 18th player to tally multiple Masters wins, and the fourth youngest to achieve the feat after Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods, who finished 60th following his 100th round at the major.

Five-time Masters champion Woods – making only his third competitive start since limping out of last year’s tournament – had quelled doubts over his ability to navigate the hilly Augusta terrain to make the cut for a record-breaking 24th consecutive time, but struggled over the weekend.

Having opened with rounds of 73 and 72, the 48-year-old shot 82 – his worst-ever round at the tournament – and a 77 to finish 16-over par, last of those to make the cut.

“It was a good week,” Woods told reporters.

“Coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately yesterday it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to.”

Åberg ran Scheffler closest with a brilliant display in his first major appearance, carding a final round 69 to fall just short of becoming the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win on his Masters debut.

It accelerates the 24-year-old’s meteoric rise since turning professional last June. The world No. 9 played a starring role in Team Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Rome less than 100 days after calling time on a prodigious amateur career, and clinched his first PGA Tour title at the RSM Classic a month later.

“Playing here at Augusta National is a dream come true,” he said.

“To be in this situation and feel the nerves and the pressure of walking down the last couple holes is what you dream of. This is what I have been wanting to do for such a long time, and it’s quite surreal to actually have the opportunity to experience it.

“I’m so proud of myself, all of the people on my team, my family and everyone involved.”

American duo Max Homa and Collin Morikawa had joined Scheffler and Åberg atop the leaderboard during the final round, but saw their challenges falter to slide to a share of third alongside England’s Tommy Fleetwood at four-under par, seven shots behind the victor.

World No.2 Rory McIlroy’s wait for the elusive career grand slam continues. The Northern Irishman is a Masters away from winning all four majors but finished tied-22nd on his 16th appearance at Augusta National.

Spain’s Jon Rahm never looked likely to become only the fourth player to defend the Masters, failing to shoot below par as he finished tied-45th at nine-over par before presenting Scheffler with his green jacket in a role reversal of last year’s ceremony.

A sloppy start

Somewhat surprisingly given his consistent brilliance on the biggest stage, only once before had Scheffler woken up on Sunday at a major championship as the leader.

Ominously for the chasing pack though, that one occasion just so happened to be at Augusta National two years ago, as the Texan perfectly preserved his three-stroke final round advantage to ease to his first major crown.

It was a suitably less comfortable one shot cushion this time around, and that slender advantage evaporated rapidly.

By the time Scheffler made his way onto the 8th fairway, he was joined atop the leaderboard by playing partner Morikawa, as well as Homa and a streaking Åberg, who birdied two of his first seven holes to make short work of his three-stroke starting deficit.

Uncharacteristically, Scheffler had started sloppily, missing greens and skewing one tee drive into a tree en route to two bogeys.

Those in hot pursuit smelled blood, and even when the world No. 1 corrected course with a birdie at the 8th, playing partner Morikawa immediately followed him in to maintain parity.

Mesmerizing shots followed in quick succession. Aberg beamed from ear to ear after curling in a 36-foot birdie putt to get a fleeting taste of his first ever major co-lead, but Scheffler responded with a stunning iron approach that – having come within inches of spinning back into the cup for eagle – set up a simple tap-in that restored his lead at the turn.

A faultless finish

The roars proliferated as droves of patrons crammed behind the ropes for what looked set to be the most thrilling finale in recent memory at Augusta National.

Rahm had to come from behind last year but quickly pulled away from a fading Koepka to ease home, while Scheffler had stood at the 18th tee with a five-shot lead at the previous tournament.

Suddenly though, the 2022 champion looked on a mission to repeat the feat. Scheffler had calibrated his sights, cashing in on yet another magnificent spinning approach to roll his third consecutive birdie into the 10th cup.

Fans wishing on a multi-player shootout for the ages quickly saw their concerns compounded.

Scheffler’s ascent coincided with his playing partner plummeting in a tailspin, as Morikawa took two attempts to escape a bunker at the ninth before splashing a shot into the water two holes later to card two double bogeys in a matter of minutes.

Level at the top at the 9th tee, the stunned world No. 20 headed to the 12th five shots adrift.

Whatever mysterious affliction had gripped Morikawa was spreading to his fellow chasers, too.

Aberg’s charge came to a soggy standstill as he joined the American in finding the pond at 11, his double bogey soon matched by Homa after his tee shot at the par-three 12th was swallowed up by a bush, forcing him to take a drop.

The ball was still nestled amongst the shrubbery when Scheffler rolled in for par on the same green shortly after, extending his lead to three.

Aberg did his best to turn up the heat with back-to-back birdies, but the stone-faced Scheffler was at his unflappable best, extending his buffer to four shots with his sixth birdie of the day – and 20th of the week – at the par-three 16th.

His first Masters triumph had ended in a shaky – albeit inconsequential – four-putt, but there were no such blips this time round. After a standing ovation on his walk to the 18th green, Scheffler signed off with a simple putt for par.

At long last, the world No. 1’s steely expression finally cracked as he shared a long hug with caddie Ted Scott before roaring in delight.

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