Scottie Scheffler wins the 2022 Masters after Rory McIlroy makes a late charge

Cameron Smith challenged early in the final round, but after Scheffler chipped in for birdie at the third he never looked anything but the winner.

There were plenty of roars on Sunday at the Masters - and it was an electric performance from Rory McIlroy which prompted many of them - but in all honesty this was not a classic final round at Augusta National.

Scottie Scheffler was just too good.

He had a few early wobbles, but he overcame them.

He had a couple of extraordinary late trembles, but he'd earned them.

And he missed a few greens, but his short game was never less than exquisite.

There will be some who quibble that the field failed to apply genuine pressure, but his relentless golf had left them needing to press so hard that they couldn't steer a true path around Augusta National.

Ultimately, Scheffler confirmed his meteoric rise in unyielding fashion.

Remember that just eight weeks ago this 25-year-old was yet to win on the PGA Tour. In the giddy two months that have followed he's broken his duck at the WM Phoenix Open, backed it up with victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, added success in the WGC - Dell Match Play, hit the top of the world rankings, and now landed a first Major Championship triumph.

That he left the field in his wake may counter-intuitively count against his achievement when it is measured against others in the history books (we're odd like that, preferring a messy tussle to a clinical dissection).

All that said, the round ended with a bizarre four-putt. Yet even that was a reminder of how good Scheffler had been: he missed two tiddlers and he could have missed another two if he'd wanted. He had that much credit in the bank.

With his double bogey-6 at the last he signed for a 1-under-par 71 for a 10-under total of 278.

It left him three blows clear of the charging McIlroy, who closed with a 64 for solo second on 7-under 281.

Shane Lowry and Cameron Smith shared third on 5-under, and Collin Morikawa was alone in fifth on 4-under.

The day had started with the eventual champion holding a three-shot lead over Smith who was himself two clear of Sungjae Im.

The Green Jacket seemed destined for one of the two hottest golfers on the planet (between them the final pair had won five of the six highest-ranking events of 2022).

Scheffler would later say: "I was in control of the tournament. The goal was to keep my head down and know that if I did my job it would take care of itself."

He scrambled a par at the first and failed to break par at the vulnerable par-5 second. In contrast, Smith circled a pair of birdies and the lead was down to one.

The turning point came immediately, at the third, after both hooked their tee shots at the short par-4 third into trees and failed to find the green with their second shots.

Pitching up a steep hill to a shallow green, Scheffler was under pressure - and yet he drained the shot for birdie. Not only that, Smith made bogey and the three-shot advantage was re-established.

Smith was rattled. He fought back, later birdied 11 in fine style, but then found water at the 12th when offered a final chance to apply pressure, and he swiftly deflated like a balloon.

In the penultimate group, Lowry made triple bogey-6 at the fourth to end his hopes and Im was never a threat.

The unlikely leaderboard menace was Rory McIlroy, flying home on a wet sail. He was 5-under through 10 and then made eagle-3 at the 13th.

Alas, he pulled his drives at 14, 15 and 17 to be stymied by the trees in his quest for more par breakers before he drained a dramatic bunker shot for a closing birdie at the 18th.

It didn't feel enough of a clubhouse target and within seconds Scheffler had stuffed his approach at the 14th to kick-in range and added another par breaker at 15, opening up that gap he required on the final green.

"I'm glad I had a little hiccup at the end there," he laughed afterwards. "My caddie (Ted Scott) told me to lag the next putt."

Was the holed chip shot at the third vital? "I was very excited and surprised it went in," he said. "It got things rolling for me. It was a long day, a tough day. I kept my head down and executed my shots."

And how did he feel slipping on the Green Jacket? "I can't put into words how it feels to know I'll be coming here for the rest of my life," he said.

For caddie Scott it was a third victory in the tournament, after two alongside Bubba Watson, and also a fourth win in his last six starts with Scheffler.

"Can you pinch me?" he laughed. "Is this real?!"

READ MORE: Tiger Woods: I will be at the Open in St Andrews, it is my favourite golf course in the world

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