BROOKLINE — He got burned at the turn.
Scottie Scheffler was again bitten by a couple of back-nine bogeys at The Country Club Sunday, and ultimately it cost the world’s top-ranked golfer. His final-round 3-under-par 67 left him at 5-under 275, just a shot behind US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
Scheffler, who was at 6 under as he approached the 10th tee — just as he was on Saturday, when he dropped five strokes in four holes — bogeyed 10 and 11, and he was never able to go on a birdie run to catch Fitzpatrick.
Funny thing is, the Masters champion thought he was in pretty good shape on both holes.
“I really didn’t hit a bad shot,” he said with a slight shrug. “The one on 10, I thought was going to be in the fairway. The wind just didn’t hit it. It ended up in the downslope there in the rough. Just was in a position where it was really hard to get on the green and hit a fantastic shot. Goes over. Hit a lot of good shots and walk away with 5.”
The par-3 11th, where Scheffler made double bogey in round 3, was playing just 119 yards, but with a devilish front-right pin protected by four bunkers.
“On 11, I hit another good shot again. A nice low wedge shot in there and ended up in position where it was a really hard par,” said Scheffler, the only player with two eagles this week. “After that, I just kept trying to keep plugging along and hit good shots. The putts were going around the hole instead of in today. It was definitely a fun ride.”
Scheffler was disappointed for sure, but like the majority of the players in the field, he raved about TCC.
“It was cool,” he said. “Nothing unfair, nothing crazy. It was just a good test. Especially a day like today where the wind actually calmed down a little bit. When you’re hitting quality shots, you’re going to get rewarded for them. Then the last three days with the winds we played in, coming out of our wave it was really difficult, and we kind of grinded it out. It was a ton of fun.
“It’s enjoyable to be able to battle against this golf course.”
Matsuyama’s masterful performance
Hideki Matsuyama fired a sizzling 5-under-par 65 in his final round, the lowest of the championship.
Heading into the round at 2-over, Matsuyama carded five birdies with no bogeys to finish at 3-under 278, giving the fellas playing behind him a number to think about as they navigated the back nine.
“Happy with the round today,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “I wasn’t able to hit my birdie yesterday. I was able to get it today.”
Matsuyama credited the short stick with helping him gain and sustain momentum through the chilly round.
“I was stroking my ball really well, rolling the ball really good,” he said. “I think that really helped my game today. Things I’m working on, trying to be consistent for four days. So, I’ll try my best.”
Morikawa bounces back
Collin Morikawa, who led after two rounds but played himself out of the tournament with a 7-over 77 Saturday, bounced back with a sterling 66 to finish tied for fifth at 2-under.
“I didn’t see [the 77] coming,” he said. “I think when you are playing well — you’ll make doubles, right, and doubles aren’t acceptable — just like three-putts. Yesterday with two doubles, you just can’t play with that.”
Morikawa declined to mope, however, and said he used the 77 as motivation.
“I hope many 7-overs aren’t coming in the future, but it just kind of made me refocus and kind of just get back into things, right, and just really start from the tee, get it in the fairway, and then worry about it from there.”
Time for a breakdown
Grayson Murray was not a happy camper. Happy Gilmore would be a more apropos description.
Murray’s meltdown began on the seventh hole following a nice drive that landed in the fairway and left him a mere 157 yards to the pin. Seven shots later, he finally found the bottom of the cup. He sailed the green on his approach, and his wedge blew up before he sank a short putt for a snowman.
Murray then went into full temper tantrum mode, chucking his balky putter — it’s always the putter’s fault — into the fescue behind the green.
Three holes later, after missing his approach shot left into some nasty rough, he took his cranky iron — it’s always the iron’s fault — and snapped it over his knee. Think Bo Jackson after a strikeout.
Murray finished with a 10-over 80 and was plus-18 for the tournament, last among professionals to make the cut.s
Vick very best among amateurs
Four amateurs made it to the weekend and Travis Vick was the medalist, 8-over after a final round 73. It capped a nice run for Vick, who qualified for the Open and then won an NCAA team title with the University of Texas.
“It’s like [fellow Longhorn alum] Scottie [Scheffler] did, where he went through a stretch of golf where he’s just playing incredible right now,” said Vick. “I think in the same manner you kind of have to take advantage of the good weeks that you have, and you’ve just got to keep playing that way. So, to be low am here is pretty cool.”
Vick said he’ll likely skip the Northeast Amateur next week in order to get some rest for a stint representing the US at the Arnold Palmer Cup in Switzerland, the Western Amateur, and the US Amateur.
The other amateurs to make the cut were Sam Bennett (plus-10), Austin Greaser (plus-18), and Steward Hagestad (plus-19).
No repeat for Jon Rahm
Defending champion Jon Rahm carded a final-round 74 and never threatened the leaders. He finished tied for 12th . . . A sigh of relief for those who finished in the top 10 as they automatically qualify for next year’s US Open, which will be played at Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course. Among those who were not already exempt were Keegan Bradley, Adam Hadwin, and Denny McCarthy (all tied for seventh), and Joel Dahmen (T-10th) . . . Only Fitzpatrick (19) and Will Zalatoris (17) had more birdies than Bradley (16) . . . Joseph Bramlett’s approach shot on 18 sailed over the green and gallery, and nearly reached the tee box on No. 1. He took an unplayable and salvaged a bogey . . . No surprise that Bryson DeChambeau (322.20 yards) and Brooks Koepka (320.60) were 1-2 in driving distance for the week . . . Bruins winger Taylor Hall and defenseman Charlie McAvoy were spotted taking in the action by the 18th green.