The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Scottie Scheffler is not done winning majors this year

A breakdown of Scheffler’s masterful performance at the Masters and his dominant season so far
Scheffler hosts up the Masters Trophy and sports the green jacket. Credit: Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Number one golfer in the world Scottie Scheffler is swinging out his shoes, a masterful striker who is on top of the golfing world. The 27-year-old has won three out of the last four tournaments he’s played in so far in the early season and has been dominant.

Scheffler cruised to a signature win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 10-13 where he won by five strokes and finished at -15 with a 66-round performance on that Sunday. The week after Scheffler would make it back-to-back victories edging out Brian Harman by a stroke at -20 with a bogey-free fourth round at 64.

If two wasn’t enough, Scheffler was one stroke shy of tying Stephan Jaeger who would win the Texas Children’s Houston Open at -12. Scheffler has eclipsed a top-10 finish in eight out of his nine tournament appearances so far this year.

What in Scheffler’s game has made him so dominant this year and honestly the past two years? Literally almost everything. Scheffler leads the tour in total strokes gained at 2.812, approach to green strokes at 1.347 gained and green in regulation percentage at 74.55.

Story continues below advertisement

Scheffler so far this year also has the lowest scoring average at 67.60 and the highest birdie average at 5.43. 

Scheffler’s ability to constantly put himself in a position to score low and generate regular birdie opportunities has separated his name from the rest of the tour. To put Scheffler’s stellar 5.43 birdie average in perspective, Byeong Hun An is the runner-up with a birdie average of 4.89. The birdie average per round for the whole tour is 3.84.

Scheffler came into the Masters as the favorite. He left as the winner and did it with another dominant performance. Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters, is one the most prestigious and daunting courses in America. 

Birdie opportunities are minuscule in stretches of the course with a mix of incredibly slopey greens, trees packed by fairways and difficult pin placements. Friday had gnarly wind speeds up to 43 mph that made an already difficult course harder. 

Scheffler shot a 66 on Thursday and kept himself at the top with an even-par performance on Friday and -1 on Saturday. Scheffler at -7 was on top of the leaderboard heading into Sunday ahead of Collin Morikawa at -6 and Max Homa at -5.

While there would be four golfers all tied at -7 at a point in time on Sunday, Scheffler pulled ahead while the rest of the field at the top couldn’t keep up with Scheffler. He would end up winning at -11 with Ludvig Aberg finishing second at -7. 

Scheffler had a commanding 4.57 strokes gained which wasn’t even close to being touched as the runner-up in that department was Ludvig Aberg who was a whole point lower than Scheffler at 3.57. 

Around the green Scheffler was brilliant with 1.97 strokes gained. This gave Scheffler the most birdie opportunities and gave Scheffler the chance to be the closest around the pin.

These stats show how dominant he was but it doesn’t even tell the whole story of Scheffler and his career so far. 

This was Scheffler’s second green jacket and per the Athletic, he is the first golfer in history to win the Masters by three or more strokes twice in a three-year span. Scheffler also needed the fewest master starts with five to win two Masters since 1936. 

Scheffler is in a lane that is currently untouchable and I honestly don’t think he is done. He is definitely not done winning but I think he will win at least another major and maybe multiple this year. 

Last year in the PGA Championship and the U.S Championship, Scheffler finished just two strokes behind the eventual winners Brooks Koepka and Wyndham Clark. While he still struggles in this area of his game, his putting has improved this year.

Last year Scheffler struggled with putting strokes gained at -0.301 which ranked 162nd on the tour out of 193 qualified players. Scheffler by no means is elite at putting this year but has made drastic improvements from last year’s poor putting.

A putter change late into last year was carried into this year and has brought Scheffler into positive putting strokes gained at 0.14 which puts him at 96th on tour in that statistic. With a putting average of 1.66 on each green, Scheffler is first in that category due to his elite ball striking and approach game with his wedges.

If Scheffler continues to improve on his putting and keeps striking the ball like he’s doing and maintains the proximity to the hole average at 35’2, nobody will be able to beat Scheffler.

Scheffler’s confidence in himself and the nature of his calmness in the most high pressure moments is what separates Scheffler from the rest of professional golf and what will continue to separate him.

He is that good and I truly believe we are watching a golfer who will win several majors this year and will have the grand slam title (all four major wins in career) before he hits the age of 30.

Benes can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *