If the season ended today, Schauffele would be my Rookie of the Year pick by a nose. It’s easy to let recency bias creep in as Schauffele’s resume stacks up similarly with my runner-up pick, Wesley Bryan. Schauffele just got his work done later, surging late in the summer with a win at The Greenbrier. Bryan won at the RBC Heritage back in April and hasn’t made much of a splash since besides a T3 at the John Deere Classic.
Bryan owns five top-10s to Schauffele’s three and they have each made 18 cuts. Schauffele’s played 26 events and Bryan 27
Those two, along with other rookies, could all make their stamp on the ROY race here in Lake Forest.
As far as I could tell, this will be Schauffele’s first time seeing Conway Farms as an amateur or pro. Being fresh to a course hasn’t been a detriment recently, anyway.
Schauffele stepped right up to Erin Hills to tie for fifth at the U.S. Open in June. That was the third made cut out of eight in a row and preceded a T14 the next week at the Travelers and a win in his fifth start in five weeks at The Greenbrier.
Add a T20 at The Open, a T13 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and a T17 at The Northern Trust and it’s easy to see how Schauffele has himself on the brink of making the top 30.
Schauffele is No. 1 in the playoffs in par-5 scoring, which could make the difference in what will likely be another birdie fest at Conway Farms.
He’s No. 18 on the season in driving distance, which will be a benefit if he can keep it in the short grass (No. 126 in driving accuracy).
Instead of hitting the rookie wall, Schauffele has smashed through it. I expect him to have another solid week and advance to East Lake with ease.
Will we get a Cinderella story coming out of the BMW Championship this week? Or will the dreamers be turned away in the end? Follow all the action with us this weekend!