There will be chaos on Masters Sunday because temptation is out there

He was there … for a blink.

Sitting atop the leaderboard on the back nine on Saturday at Augusta National was Nicolai Hojgaard, a Danish 23-year old who walked down the 11th fairway alone at 7-under.

And, it should be said, the 11th hole has a massive scoreboard right next to the green. If you lift your eyes, they will be filled with names and numbers. It is not hard to know where you stand.

But you probably don’t care much about Hojgaard. Not anymore, at least.

Because 82 minutes after he walked down 11 with the solo lead at the Masters, he had played himself out of the tournament. Hojgaard put the ball in the water on No. 13. He did the same thing on the 15th hole. He bogeyed five straight holes and finished 5 shots back of the Saturday-night leader, Scottie Scheffler (-7).

Many head into Sunday believing a Scheffler victory is an inevitability. That the only thing that will prevent him from slipping on his second green jacket in three years is early child birth.

And perhaps Scheffler will run away with the title on Sunday.

But, there is no inevitability. We should’ve learned that last year, when Brooks Koepka was the Sunday leader at the Masters and it seemed foolish to question if the no-nonsense Major killer was gonna come through. And, well, he lost by 4 shots.

To look at the leaderboard is to see young guys or those with little major success or both. Scheffler (-7) is 27 with just one major. Collin Morikawa (-6) is 27 with two majors. Max Homa (-5) doesn’t have one at 33. Ludvig Aberg (-4) is 24 playing in his first major. And Bryson DeChambeau (-3) is 30 with just one title.

All that is to say these guys have the ability for greatness and the possibility of collapse.

Take Scheffler and DeChambeau for examples.

We’ll start with “The inevitability.” On the 10th hole, Scheffler flew an iron right at the pin on a day when the greens were ice blocks. The ball skipped then rolled into a bush. Scheffler carded a double-bogey and fell down the leaderboard.

Three holes later, after another birdie at No. 11, Scheffler hit his iron 217 yards to the green then drilled a 31-foot eagle putt uphill, over a ridge and amidst shadows.

Shcheffler, normally a quiet, mundane man on the course, let out a Tiger-esque fist pump and yelled to the crowd, “Come on!”

“It was nice to be able to steal a couple shots there on 13 and get back in the tournament,” Scheffler said after the round.

And then there was DeChambeau, who began the day tied for the lead and in the final pairing with Homa. For most of the day, DeChambeau might as well have taken a banana to the green. He three-putted on No. 3. He three-putted on No. 11. And No. 13. And No. 16. And nearly again on No. 17.

It was one of those days.

But the collapse came on the 15th hole, a 550-yard par-5 that perfectly suits DeChambeau’s distance. His drive veered into the crowd, causing security guards to move chairs and trash cans out of DeChambeau’s projected path. Their effort was useless. DeChambeau, in a beautiful ode to the 45-handicaps out there, duffed his chip. Just completely chucked it. It traveled about 20 feet and rolled into the water.

“(It) just nestled down, and I had nothing,” he said.

Three holes later, when it seemed like DeChambeau was out of the tournament, he tugged on that line and reeled himself back in. Undoubtedly the most polarizing golfer still in contention, he holed out from 77 yards on the 18th hole. Rather than being 6 shots back, DeChambeau will enter Sunday just 4 shots off of Scheffler.

“If I can make some putts tomorrow,” DeChambeau said, “I think I can have a good opportunity.”

This golf course is all about managing risk. Homa, who finished 1-over for the day, took very few chances, laying up on the final two par-5s on Saturday. He was not rewarded, nor was he penalized. If he’s behind on Sunday, one would assume his thinking will shift.

There will be chaos because there will be temptation. Someone will find the water. Someone will hit the shot of the tournament. And someone new will sit atop the leaderboard, if only for a moment.

Live coverage today

Fourth round, Sunday, April 14 ... 3-7 p.m. (CBS)

You can stream the tournament daily at, starting with the honorary starters at 7:40 a.m. Thursday and continuing through the day and through the weekend. The Masters website includes streaming views of featured groups, Amen Corner and more. The Masters will also be available for streaming on ESPN+ as well as Paramount Plus.

Final pairings, tee times

  • 9:15 AM Adam Hadwin, Vijay Singh

  • 9:25 AM Jake Knapp, Grayson Murray

  • 9:35 AM Neal Shipley (amateur), Tiger Woods

  • 9:45 AM Tom Kim, Denny McCarthy

  • 9:55 AM Kurt Kitayama Thorbjorn Olesen

  • 10:05 AM Erik van Rooyen, Eric Cole

  • 10:15 AM Jose Maria Olazabal, Camilo Villegas

  • 10:25 AM Russell Henley, Jason Day

  • 10:35 AM Keegan Bradley, Min Woo Lee

  • 10:45 AM Si Woo Kim, J.T. Poston

  • 11:05 AM Corey Conners, Brooks Koepka

  • 11:15 AM Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry

  • 11:25 AM Taylor Moore, Sahith Theegala

  • 11:35 AM Akshay Bhatia, Harris English

  • 11:45 AM Jon Rahm, Tony Finau

  • 11:55 AM Hideki Matsuyama, Luke List

  • 12:05 PM Ryan Fox, Rickie Fowler

  • 12:25 PM Danny Willett, Adam Scott

  • 12:35 PM Will Zalatoris, Tyrrell Hatton

  • 12:45 PM Rory McIlroy, Joaquin Niemann

  • 12:55 PM Matthieu Pavon, Sepp Straka

  • 1:05 PM Matt Fitzpatrick, Patrick Reed

  • 1:15 PM Adam Schenk, Chris Kirk

  • 1:25 PM Patrick Cantlay, Lucas Glover

  • 1:45 PM Cameron Young, Tommy Fleetwood

  • 1:55 PM Byeong Hun An, Cameron Smith

  • 2:05 PM Cameron Davis, Nicolai Hojgaard

  • 2:15 PM Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele

  • 2:25 PM Max Homa, Ludvig Aberg

  • 2:35 PM Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa