Jordan Spieth put it perfectly Sunday afternoon when talking about Scottie Scheffler in his post-round press conference at TPC Sawgrass.
“I honestly hated when people called it a run for me so I don’t want to call it a run for Scottie but he’s playing really well,” Spieth said. He couldn’t have nailed it on the head better.
Calling what Scheffler is doing right now “a run” feels disrespectful. He’s been playing the best golf of anyone on planet earth for a little over a year now. Instead of labeling it a run, maybe we just have to accept it as the new norm.
Scottie Scheffler won The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass by five strokes on a leaderboard that consisted of a lot of names that don’t typically contend on a weekly basis. The inevitability of the win kicked in on Saturday when Scheffler fired a third-round-65 to take a two stroke lead over Min Woo Lee into the final day.
Scheffler’s closing-round-69 was far from spectacular but had some moments that reminded you why this win will see him regain the number one ranking in the OWGR.
“Maybe you’re the good luck charm.” ❤️
Scottie Scheffler reunited with Kyler after winning @THEPLAYERSChamp. pic.twitter.com/Qlx5yyjHiw
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2023
Putting Scottie Scheffler’s Win into Perspective
Scheffler began the week paired with Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy on Thursday and Friday. Rahm withdrew before the weekend with an illness and McIlroy inexplicably missed the cut. Not often will you find Scheffler in a pairing where he’s an after-thought. He reminded everyone why that shouldn’t ever be the case.
The 26-year-old former Texas Longhorn is one of three players ever – Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are the others – to hold The Masters and The Players titles simultaneously. In both tournaments, Scheffler chipped in on the front-nine to really drive home the beginning of the end for the rest of the field.
TPC Sawgrass typically plays tough but players found some success with easier pin locations throughout the tournament and posted some lower than usual scores. Three aces were made at the famous No. 17 island green where no more than one had ever been made in a single weekend.
Even Tom Hoge, who had booked a flight out of town that he had to cancel, fired off a course record 62 on Saturday that he used to finish with a top-five.
Despite all this, it was still Scottie Scheffler reigning supreme over the field by a wide margin. He didn’t allow the pressure to get to him and used his chip-in on No. 8 as fuel for a string of five-straight birdies that would eventually see him win the tournament.
The Masters title defense looms
Scottie Scheffler has already successfully defended his WM Phoenix Open title. He came within two shots of defending at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a week ago. He will likely tee it up at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in a couple weeks to try and defend there.
Nothing, however, would be more impressive than defending his green jacket at The Masters on Easter weekend. Only three other men have done that in golf history: Woods, Nicklaus, and Nick Faldo. Who’s to say Scottie Scheffler can’t pull that off?
Scheffler is near the top in every category on Tour right now. His putter failed him at the API last weekend and had some moments this week that showed that if he has any weakness in his game right now, it’s on the green.
I find it very hard to see any reason right now why I wouldn’t put my money on Scottie Scheffler at Augusta National if I had to. The next time someone fails to mention Scheffler among the games best, make sure you remind them that there isn’t anyone in golf who’s achieved more in the past 400 or so days.