Xander Schauffele experienced a full range of emotions on Sunday in the final round of the 85th Masters Tournament.
He fell out of contention early, roared back to make it interesting and, just as he looked poised to make one of the great comebacks in tournament history, he made a round-ruining triple bogey.
On the scorecard, it added up to an even-par 72 and a tie for third place, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story of this tragedy in three parts.
Schauffele entered the final round at Augusta National Golf Club trailing Hideki Matsuyama by four strokes. After a birdie at the second, Schauffele appeared to have shot himself out of the tournament with what he called “a messy start.” He made costly bogeys at the third and fourth hole and then doubled the fifth, which he failed to par in all four rounds. At 3 over for the day through six holes, Schauffele’s deficit had grown to seven strokes. He could’ve been deflated, but he was not.
“I never gave up,” Schauffele said. “It almost took the edge off.”
The rollercoaster round began to turn for the better with birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 and kicked into high gear with a string of four straight birdies beginning at No. 12. Meanwhile, Matsuyama made his first bogey of the day at No. 12 and overshot the 15th green with his second shot and made another bogey to give Schauffele a glimmer of hope.