Scottie Scheffler had always dreamed about competing in the Masters, so winning the famous tournament at Augusta National left him full of emotion.

On Sunday, Scheffler secured a fourth PGA Tour win from his most recent six starts, with all four of his career wins having come about in a 57-day hot streak.

Scheffler entered the final round with a three-stroke lead over the chasing field, but after playing partner Cameron Smith found the water on the 12th hole, the 25-year-old American found himself leading by five down the final stretch.

After putting jitters meant he carded a double bogey on 18, Scheffler signed for a 71 to finish 10 under overall, three shots clear of runner-up Rory McIlroy.

He looked largely stoic as he navigated the nerves of a final-round lead, but prior to being presented with his green jacket by last year's champion Hideki Matsuyama in the cabin, Scheffler said he was putting on a brave face.

"I may have looked calm on the outside, but as Hideki [Matsuyama] knows, it's a long day, it's a tough day, so I just tried to keep my head down and execute shots," Scheffler said.

"Probably the first time [winning] popped into my mind was Friday in the afternoon after we got done.

"I never really make it this far – I always dream of just being here and competing. I can't put into words what it means that I'll be able to come back here for a lifetime, hopefully, and I can't speak highly enough of this place.

"I can't thank my family enough. My parents and my sisters have made so many sacrifices for me over the years.

"We've all dreamed about just making this tournament – it's emotional just making the field – so to have the honour of winning the golf tournament is so special."

Later on, he added: "I've dreamed of having a chance to play in this tournament – I teared up the first time I got my invitation in the mail. If you're going to choose a golf tournament to win, this would be the tournament I would want to win."

Scheffler has become the first man to win four times in a PGA Tour campaign by the end of the Masters since David Duval went on an early-season charge in 1999, but that end-of-the-century run did not include a green jacket.

Touching on the on-course action, Scheffler reflected on his crucial chip-in on the third hole after Smith started his day with two consecutive birdies while the eventual winner could not hit a green.

"Very excited [to see it go in] – a bit surprised too," Scheffler said. "It was definitely not a shot I expected to see go in.

"I wouldn't say it changed the complexion of the day, but it definitely got things rolling for me and I played some very solid golf after that.

"I was fortunate to put myself in a position where I was in control of the tournament today, so I didn't have to worry about what anybody else was doing out there.

"If I took care of my stuff, and played good solid golf, I felt like I could get the job done. That was the goal going into today, just keep my head down."

Rory McIlroy narrowly missed out on a maiden Masters triumph but said a record-equalling final round at Augusta made him "as happy as I have ever been on a golf course".

The 32-year-old, who was aiming to complete a career grand slam of the majors, entered Sunday at one over yet gave himself hope of a remarkable victory with an eight-under 64.

That tied the lowest final-round score in the competition's history and is the second-lowest 18-hole score McIlroy has managed in a major, behind his 63 at The Open in 2010.

Magnificent McIlroy's blemish-free round consisted of six birdies, including a dramatic bunker shot at 18, and an awe-inspiring eagle on the par-five 13th.

The Northern Irishman ultimately left himself with too much to do, however, as Scottie Scheffler held his nerve to win by three strokes.

But after rolling back the years with an Augusta showing for the ages, runner-up McIlroy could not hide his delight.

"It's what you dream about, you dream about getting yourself into position," he said. "To play as well as I did today and then to finish like this, it's just absolutely incredible.

"This tournament never ceases to amaze. That's as happy as I've ever been on a golf course, right there. I've never heard roars like that on the 18th green, it was really cool."

McIlroy, who has four major victories to his name but none since 2014, told CBS: "I gave it a great go and I can't ask any more of myself.

"I went out there today, shot my best ever score at Augusta. It's going to be my best finish ever, probably not quite good enough, but I'll come back next year and keep trying."

Scottie Scheffler is now the proud owner of a green jacket after winning the Masters with a terrific performance in the last round – even if he wobbled on the 18th green.

Scheffler, 25, finished 10 under overall and shot 71 on Sunday after a double bogey at the last, winning his fourth career PGA Tour title after landing his first just 57 days ago.

A terrific chip-in on the third hole helped him find his footing after a couple of wayward drives early on, but his ability to recover from less-than-ideal situations was on full display on the first nine.

He would birdie the seventh hole on the way to a bogey-free front half, before his first slip-up came with a bogey on the 10th as he missed a makeable par putt. He lost his putting poise on the final green, but had enough shots in hand that it hardly mattered a jot.

The final day shaped up as a two-horse race between Scheffler and Cameron Smith, but any chance Smith had at mounting a comeback went up in smoke as his tee shot on the par-three 12th found the water.

Smith went on to triple-bogey the hole, and fell apart from that point, pulling drives into the trees as his fight turned from a chance to win to a battle to hang on in the top five.

The surge of the day came from Rory McIlroy, who shot one off the course record with an eight-under 64 to finish outright second at seven under.

McIlroy went bogey-free, with birdies on one, three, seven, eight, 10 and 18, and an eagle on 13.

He capped off his round with a remarkable chip-in from the bunker on 18 – only for his playing partner, Colin Morikawa, to do likewise to put the finishing touches on a 67 to earn outright fifth place at four under.

Also finishing inside the top five was Shane Lowry, who finished with a three-under 69 to tie with Smith for third on a five-under aggregate, despite a triple bogey on the par-three fourth.

Rory McIlroy endured a "really tough" day in the Georgia wind after carding another round 73 to sit on two over par after two rounds at the Masters.

The weather really put the "gust" in Augusta on Friday as several players struggled with the conditions, though McIlroy looks to have made the cut, projected to be four over.

The Northern Irishman made three birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey as he found himself unable to make a move on the leaders.

Speaking after his round, McIlroy said of the conditions: "Tough, really tough. It's gusty, it's hard to commit to a number and say 'okay, it's 170, it's really playing 200', and committing to it because the wind's just going up and down.

"It's a tough challenge, being okay with hitting to 30 feet and getting within two shots and making pars, that's been the name of the game today."

The 32-year-old hit a bogey at 10 before double bogeying the 11th to drop to four over par, but was able to birdie two of the last seven to potentially rescue his week.

"That was a soft couple of holes on 10 and 11, giving away three shots," he added. "And then to play the last seven in two under was really nice. I hit the ball very well coming in, felt like I left a couple out there too, I had a few chances, but it's just one of those days that even the 10 footers are difficult because the wind's gusting.

"One of those days that unsettles you a bit and puts some doubt in your mind, and that's where golf can become difficult."

A number of high-profile players are likely to miss the cut, with Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka on six over par after two rounds, Xander Schauffele on seven over, Justin Rose eight over and Bryson DeChambeau 10 over.

Rory McIlroy will hope to build on an encouraging start on day two at The Masters and claimed his first-round one-over 73 was the "worst I could have shot".

The Northern Irishman headed to Augusta National searching to complete the elusive career grand slam for an eighth attempt, and sits six shots behind leader Im Sung-jae after the opening round on Thursday.

Slow starts have often been McIlroy's problems at the majors, but he felt his "negative" approach paid dividends as he opted for a more conservative route around Augusta.

Four-time major winner McIlroy was satisfied with his first outing as he looks for a first major title since the PGA Championship in 2014, and believes his one-over-par round did not do his efforts justice.

"I am encouraged with how I played. I don't really care where I am at on the leaderboard, it doesn't matter," the 32-year-old said.

"I hit the ball well from tee to green in the most part, I am pleased with that [although] I want to work on my putting.

"I think I hit 12 fairways and 14 greens and just didn't really get a lot out of the round. I hit a lot of greens in the middle and made a lot of easy pars.

"I had a putt at 14 to go two-under for the round with a par five to play but I three-putted that and halted any momentum I had. I think that's the worst I could have shot, I felt I played really well.

"The course is in incredible shape for the amount of rain we have had, so I am looking forward to dry conditions over the next three days."

McIlroy, who is tied for 31st place after his three bogeys cancelled out two birdies, is set to get back in action at 15:45 BST on Friday with playing partners Brooks Koepka and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

While he had no difficulty in parring the first hole on the opening day, McIlroy believes the nerves of that initial tee shot at The Masters never fade away.

"The hour or two leading up to that first tee shot there are nerves and anxiety," he added. "Once you get the first tee shot out of the way it is business as usual.

"I usually envision, 'what's the worst place I could hit it off the tee?' I then think, 'okay, I could probably make four from there'. That is how I settle myself down."

Tiger Woods looked in good health in his return to The Masters, but it is Im Sung-jae who stands alone atop the leaderboard after the first round at Augusta National.

In Woods' first competitive round since The Masters in 2020, the legend finished with three birdies – on the sixth, 13th and 16th – as well as two bogeys, on the eighth and 14th holes.

South Korea's Im produced the round of the day, birdieing the first three holes on his way to five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle on 13 to finish at five under.

Smith, who recently won The Players Championship, finished one shot off the lead and outright second at four under, despite bookending his round with double-bogeys on both the first and the 18th, with eight birdies in between.

World number one Scottie Scheffler nearly went bogey-free, but a slip-up on 18 saw him finish two shots off the pace at three under. 

It was a similar story for Dustin Johnson, who birdied four of his first 10 holes before dropping a shot on the 17th to finish tied with Scheffler, as well as Chile's Joaquin Niemann and England's Danny Willett in a tie for third.

Patrick Cantlay and Canadian Corey Conners highlight the small group tied for seventh at two under, while Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and former runner-up Will Zalatoris are one further back, tied with Woods for 10th.

A decorated group finished at even par, including Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia, as well as Victor Hovland, who had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

A pair of big names shot 73 for a one over finish in Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy, while plenty of notable stars were a further shot back.

Bookmakers' favourite Jon Rahm was uncharacteristically off his game, with four bogeys and two birdies to finish at two over along with Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott.

Brooks Koepka was two under through nine holes, but three consecutive bogeys on 11, 12 and 13 drained his confidence, eventually finishing three over.

Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Thomas had a day to forget at four over.

Tiger Woods looked in good health in his return to The Masters, but it is Sungjae Im who stands alone atop the leaderboard after the first round at Augusta National.

In Woods' first competitive round since The Masters in 2020, the legend finished with three birdies – on the sixth, 13th and 16th – as well as two bogeys, on the eighth and 14th holes.

South Korea's Im produced the round of the day, birdieing the first three holes on his way to five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle on 13 to finish at five under.

Smith, who recently won The Players Championship, finished one shot off the lead and outright second at four under, despite bookending his round with double-bogeys on both the first and the 18th, with eight birdies in between.

World number one Scottie Scheffler nearly went bogey-free, but a slip-up on 18 saw him finish two shots off the pace at three under. 

It was a similar story for Dustin Johnson, who birdied four of his first 10 holes before dropping a shot on the 17th to finish tied with Scheffler, as well as Chile's Joaquin Niemann and England's Danny Willett in a tie for third.

Patrick Cantlay and Canadian Corey Conners highlight the small group tied for seventh at two under, while Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and former runner-up Will Zalatoris are one further back, tied with Woods for 10th.

A decorated group finished at even par, including Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia, as well as Victor Hovland, who had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

A pair of big names shot 73 for a one over finish in Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy, while plenty of notable stars were a further shot back.

Bookmakers' favourite Jon Rahm was uncharacteristically off his game, with four bogeys and two birdies to finish at two over along with Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott.

Brooks Koepka was two under through nine holes, but three consecutive bogeys on 11, 12 and 13 drained his confidence, eventually finishing three over.

Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Thomas had a day to forget at four over.

There is nothing in golf quite like The Masters.

Arguably the most prestigious of the majors, Augusta National becomes the centre of the sporting world once more over the weekend, as the famous green jacket goes up for grabs again.

In 1997, Tiger Woods won his first major when he triumphed in Georgia, and 25 years on he is set to make a sensational comeback from injury.

But Woods is not the only name to look out for.

 

The favourites

Let's start from the top. Scottie Scheffler is the world's new number one and he heads into the weekend on the back of three victories in his last five events, having not finished worse than T-19th in his six major appearances since 2020.

Scheffler said he has been resting up at home ahead of travelling to Augusta, where he joked he has already been brought down a peg or two.

He told Sky Sports: "I've been humbled a couple of times already, showing up here. The guy who picked me up in the cart this morning called me Xander, so that brought me down to earth real quick! It's been great, really looking forward to this week."

The Xander in question is Xander Schauffele. He finished T3 last year, three shots back from the champion Hideki Matsuyama, and was looking good on his final round until he sent a ball into the water on the 16th, but he won gold at the Tokyo Olympics and comes into the tournament in strong form.

Reigning champion Matsuyama cast doubt over his participation when he withdrew from the Texas Open with a neck problem, meanwhile, which may hinder his title defence.

 

Brooks Koepka has won four majors, but did not make the cut last year and will be out to put that right this time around, having defeated Jon Rahm in the WGC-Match Play last 16. 

Rahm has finished in the top 10 in each of his last four Masters appearances. However, the Spaniard has not won a tournament since triumphing in the US Open last year, but did secure a place in the top 10 in all four of last year's majors.

Dustin Johnson failed to make the cut in 2021 in a torrid title defence. He had dropped out of the top 10 up until an impressive performance at the WGC-Match Play moved him up to number eight, and he'll be determined to rekindle the form that saw him clinch the green jacket in 2020.

Viktor Hovland is ranked fourth in the world, though his weak chipping game may prove costly to his chances at Augusta, while Collin Morikawa cannot be discounted for a third major title and Justin Thomas will be out to win a second major having won the US PGA Championship in 2017.

 

The outsiders

Augusta is where golfers can shoot to stardom over the course of four spectacular days, and there will be plenty of the field who fancy their chances despite not being among the bookmakers' favourites.

One such player capable of a challenge is Cameron Smith. The Australian is ranked at a career-high six, won the Players' Championship last month and has finished inside the top 10 in three of the last four Masters.

Will Zalatoris, meanwhile, comes into the weekend with the best SG (strokes gained, which compares a player's score to the field average) tee-to-green* statistics on the PGA Tour this season, with his 1.767 average just edging out Thomas, and he came second on his Masters debut in 2021.

Zalatoris only has one pro win to his name so far but the 25-year-old has largely impressed at the majors. He finished T2 in 2021 at Augusta and T8 in last year's PGA Championship, while recording a T6 finish in the 2020 US Open.

Rory McIlroy's Masters record is frustrating. It is the only major the former world number one has not yet won. He finished in the top 10 six times between 2014 and 2020 before missing the cut last year, and now he'll have another stab at sealing a career Grand Slam, though his best finish this season has been third in the Dubai Desert Classic.

 

Only five players have previously completed a clean sweep of the majors, and McIlroy has not won one of the big four events since 2014.

Russell Henley will feature for the first time since 2018 after 12 top 10 finishes in the past year, and he has finished in the top 25 at Augusta three times, while Bryson DeChambeau is going to compete despite missing a chunk of the season with a hip problem. He finished T46 on three-over-par in 2021.

Marc Leishman finished fifth a year ago, improving on T13 from 2020, and Sergio Garcia will at least hope to make the cut for the first time since he won in 2017. Perhaps if the Spaniard can just make the weekend, he can go all the way again?

 

The return of the king

As far as comeback stories go in sport, Woods has already provided one of the very best.

In 2019, against all odds following years of back issues and surgery to fix the problems, Woods won The Masters for a fifth time in his illustrious career, taking his total of major victories to 15. He trails only Jack Nicklaus in that regard.

But this comeback might just top the lot.

The 46-year-old admitted he cheated death in a major single-car crash in February 2021, which left him with serious leg and foot injuries. Woods was unable to walk unaided for several months and has not played serious golf since, but he is all set for a remarkable return on the biggest stage of them all.

It will be his first appearance in any tournament since he played at Augusta in November 2020. Since winning his maiden major a quarter of a century ago, Woods has claimed nine more major titles than any other player, while he is one of only three players to win successive Masters titles (2001 and 2002).

Woods has never failed to make the cut in 21 appearances, and even if he does not challenge at the top of the leaderboard this time around (though you would not put it past him) his comeback is already the story of the weekend.

 

Rory McIlroy described Tiger Woods' return at The Masters as a "wonderful thing" after the 15-time major winner confirmed his planned participation at Augusta.

Woods is set to make a sensational bid for a sixth green jacket this week, playing competitively for the first time since failing to defend his 2019 Masters title in November 2020.

The 46-year-old suffered serious leg and foot injuries in a car crash in February 2021. He was unable to walk unaided for several months.

However, after practicing at Augusta this week, Woods said on Tuesday: "As of right now I feel like I'm going to play."

Asked if he thought he could win the Masters, Woods - who has been grouped with Joaquin Niemann and Louis Oosthuizen - replied: "I do."

McIlroy is looking to complete a career Grand Slam by finally ending his wait for a first Masters title, but he unsurprisingly faced questions on Woods' return.

"Tiger has been wonderful for us all in this room. He creates attention on the game of golf that no one else can," McIlroy replied when asked if he would be surprised if Woods was still in contention on Sunday. 

"That's great for his peers. It's great for the media. It's great for this golf club. It's great for everyone. So, any time Tiger Woods is involved, it's a wonderful thing.

"I think in terms of the competitive nature of it, if he's in the field or not, I don't think it really changes much. You're trying to focus on yourself, and he can't stop you shooting a 67 if you play well. It's not like any other sport. So, I don't think that changes much.

"But would I be -- I wouldn't be surprised. I've spent a little bit of time with him at home, and the golf is there. He's hitting it well. He's chipping well. He's sharp. It's just the physical demand of getting around 72 holes here this week. That's probably the question mark. But the golf game is there. So, would I be surprised? No, I'm not surprised at anything he does anymore."

On whether the hype around Woods makes it easier to fly under the radar, McIlroy replied: "I mean, I try to shield myself from as much news as possible, especially this week. So not really, depending on whether you're the centre of attention or not.

"I think it does make it nice with the practice rounds. We were on the ninth green when Tiger and J.T. [Justin Thomas] and Freddie [Fred Couples] teed off yesterday [Monday], and it was a mass exodus from the ninth green to the first tee, and then the back nine was lovely and quiet.

"That's a nice way to get through the first week and sort of go about your preparation, I guess, unhindered."

Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau were among the big names whose preparation for the 2022 Masters took a blow at the Valero Texas Open on Friday.

In the last week before the first major of the year, McIlroy, DeChambeau, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler all missed the cut.

With the cut line at one under par, McIlroy's second-round 73 left him one over, while DeChambeau was way off the pace at five over following his 76.

DeChambeau has not long returned from injury, finishing bottom of his group at last week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, losing two of his three matches and tying the other.

When he started with a triple-bogey on Friday, it became clear the 2020 U.S. Open champion would not be continuing into the weekend in Texas.

Meanwhile, McIlroy had been in encouraging form a month ago, but his performances have gradually declined to the point an Augusta challenge again seems unlikely.

The Masters remains the only major McIlroy is yet to win.

While the big names faltered, world number 547 Kevin Chappell excelled, finishing his second round in a tie for second place, two shots behind leader Ryan Palmer.

Once a contender on the PGA Tour, Chappell's only win came at this event five years ago.

"I just feel at ease around this place," he said after shooting a 65. "My soul and this golf course get along. I really enjoy being here.

"I'm excited about where my game is because I don't think I've played great yet.

"It's not like the ball is coming out of the middle of the clubface every time and flying where I'm looking, but I've been able to scramble and get the ball in the hole."

Rory McIlroy says it would be "phenomenal" if Tiger Woods can prove himself and others wrong by returning to action in next week's Masters at Augusta National.

Fifteen-time major winner Woods, who has triumphed five times at The Masters, has not played on the PGA Tour since November 2020.

The 46-year-old underwent back surgery the following month and was then sustained major injuries in a car accident in February last year.

Woods previously admitted he was lucky to survive and simply making a recovery was his top priority, rather than a return to golf.

However, 25 years on from his first triumph at Augusta, the American has been listed among the expected 91 participants for the 2022 Masters, which begins on April 7.

Woods only fuelled speculation of an audacious competitive comeback when playing a practice round with his son Charlie and friend Justin Thomas on Tuesday.

There is no official word as to whether Woods will tee off in a top-tier event for the first time in well over a year, but former world number one McIlroy welcomed the idea of one of the sport's greats taking part.

"I think for golf and the Masters tournament and everyone, to have Tiger there would be phenomenal," he said at a news conference ahead of this week's Texas Open.

"It just adds to the event. Anything Tiger Woods does in the game of golf is heightened whenever he is there, so it would be awesome for him to be there.

"He was there yesterday and he's trying to see what he can do so obviously nobody knows but him if he can make it around and if he believes he can compete."

Woods, who played in the unofficial PNC Championship with his son in December, famously won the 2019 Masters after returning from multiple knee and back surgeries.

"The sheer will and perseverance, it's incredible," McIlroy added. "If he comes back from this again... he likes to prove people wrong. He likes to prove himself wrong.

"Regardless of when he does come back, he's a wonderful addition to the game, and the game of golf is better when he's playing and when he's playing well."

Shane Lowry made the biggest noise at TPC Sawgrass, even though Anirban Lahiri leads The Players Championship after the close of play on Sunday.

The Irishman hit a hole-in-one on the notorious par-three island green 17th hole, using a pitching wedge and getting the ball past the pin, before rolling back and dropping in.

The 2019 Open Championship winner came into the third round at one-under par, and bogeyed the par-five 11th before birdieing the 14th and 16th in a chaotic back nine.

After holing from the tee on the 17th, Lowry celebrated wildly with playing partner and Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter, proceeding to throw his ball into the crowd.

It was a stark contrast to the norm on the 17th, made even more treacherous with a stiff headwind, with Brooks Keopka and Collin Morikawa among those to put shots into the water.

On another weather-interrupted day, Lahiri leads the pack, managing to finish 11 holes on nine-under par overall as darkness descended on Sawgrass. The world number 322 bogeyed the first hole of the back nine, but steadied to birdie the par-five 11th.

Stormy weather in the Florida region has wreaked havoc on scheduling and bad light eventually stopped play on Sunday. The third round will finish on Monday, with all players at least managing to finish nine holes.

Tom Hoge and Harold Varner III are currently one shot back from Lahiri on eight-under par. Hoge bounced back from a bogey on the sixth, birdieing on the par-five ninth hole to close out his Sunday.

Sebastian Munoz, Paul Casey and Sam Burns are tied at seven-under overall, with Francesco Molinary, Daniel Berger, Camero Smith and Doug Ghim one further stroke back. at six-under overall.

With the second round finishing early on Sunday, Rory McIlroy only just managed to make the cut at two-over par. Driving into the water on the 16th, pars on the final two holes saved him, as two balls into the water from Scott Piercy on the 17th and missed the cut.

Having also just made the cut after 36 holes, FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler is at one-over par, birdieing the par-five 16th to finish nine holes for the third round.

Defending champion Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson managed to shoot bogey-free rounds on Saturday at The Players Championship, despite heavy winds.

The duo became the 36-hole clubhouse leaders at three under, but Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge remained at the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood only played three holes of his second round on Saturday while Hoge did not even start his before bad light suspended the day's action again.

Stormy weather in the Florida region in the past few days lead to many competitors only finishing their openings rounds on Saturday.

Further weather disruption meant play did not start until midday local time, with 47 players finally completing their opening rounds in the first two hours.

Fleetwood remained at six over par after recording a birdie and a bogey in his three holes, level with Hoge and one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann, Keith Mitchell and Anirban Lahiri, all tied for third at five under.

Thomas, who won last year's event, carded a three-under 69 to move up to joint-15th place after an even par 72 in his first round, while Watson played himself back into contention with the best second-round score so far of 68 to match Thomas overall on three under.

Dustin Johnson shot 73 in his second round to move to two under, tied for 23rd, while last year's runner-up Lee Westwood will miss the cut after a dismal round of 80 saw him nine over after two rounds.

Brooks Koepka had an even worse day, carding 81 to also sit at nine over, while Rory McIlroy was able to finally complete his first round for 73, before going back out and hitting the same score again, including a double-bogey at the seventh, to leave himself two over.

The par-three 17th was proving particularly tricky in the high winds, with 29 balls finding the water on Saturday, while just four had suffered the same fate in the previous two days. McIlroy said afterwards: "Basically, the green's a big massive dartboard, and you're like, just hit it anywhere on there."

Weather permitting, play is due to resume at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday at 8:15am local time.

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan has joked that Rory McIlroy has been "suspended" following comments he made calling for more transparency from the governing body.

The Northern Irishman said on Tuesday that the PGA Tour needs to be less of a "closed shop", with criticism around transparency on topics such as fines, suspensions and the vote for the player of the year.

McIlroy currently sits as one of four player directors on the Tour's policy board and prompted a sarcastic response from Monahan.

“I would just say, effective immediately, Rory McIlroy is suspended," the commissioner joked.

Monahan added: "Rory is a member of our policy board. He's a player director. That's something that has been raised in the past, and if that's something that a member of our board feels strongly about, rest assured it's a conversation we'll have with our Player Advisory Council and ultimately our board.

"That's the way the system works. It's a criticism that has been lobbied against the PGA Tour through the years, and I think we always have to be open to evolving. That's something that we are open to."

Monahan also revealed that he has not spoken to six-time major winner Phil Mickelson since facing a major backlash and taking time off from the game after comments he made about a proposed Saudi Arabia-backed Super Golf League.

Mickelson claimed the Super Golf League could provide players with "leverage" as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

Monahan said the ball was in Mickelson's court on whether he returned to the tour, although he declined to confirm if he had been suspended for his comments.

"I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away. Like I said, I think the ball is in his court. I would welcome a phone call from him," Monahan said.

"But it's hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out. Listen, he's a player that's won 45 times on the PGA Tour. He's had a Hall of Fame career.

"He's won here at The Players Championship. He's inspired a lot of people and helped grow this Tour, his Tour.

"So as difficult as it is to read some of the things that were said, ultimately a conversation will be had when he's ready to have it, and I will be ready to have it, as well."  

Scottie Scheffler backed up last month's Phoenix Open triumph by taking out the Arnold Palmer Invitational by one stroke after a final round of 72 at Bay Hill on Sunday.

Scheffler carded an even-par round with three birdies and three bogeys to finish five under and one shot ahead of Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton – who stormed 10 places up the leaderboard with a final-day 69 to earn a tie of second.

The 25-year-old Scheffler made his move on the third day, with a five-under 68 launching him into contention. American Scheffler will now move up to fifth on the official world rankings.

Joint overnight leaders Horschel and Talor Gooch lost their grip on top spot, with the former making three bogeys and a double bogey on his final-day front nine before finishing with a three-over 75.

Gooch ended up two further strokes back with a five-over 77 after four bogeys and two double bogeys on his front nine.

Norwegian world number four Hovland loomed as the likely player to capitalise on their misfortune, as he assumed the lead.

But five bogeys in Hovland's closing 11 holes left the door open for Scheffler, who held his nerve, notably making an excellent long putt to save par on the 15th hole.

"It feels great, especially to win on such a difficult golf course and the way it finished," Scheffler told Sky Sports.

"I didn't play my best stuff, I just kept grinding and made some key putts down the stretch, and it was really just a fight all day."

First-round leader Rory McIlroy never threatened on Sunday, with a four-over-76 meaning he finished back at one over after 72 holes.

World number one Jon Rahm was one stroke behind the Northern Irishman after a final-round 74.

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