Scottie Scheffler put on a master class last year, no pun intended.
He played so well that he could afford to bobble the ball around a bit on the 72nd green. Scheffler still won by three shots after posting 69-67-71-71 (-15).
He was the only player to shoot under par all four days.
Scheffler made his tournament debut with a T-19th finish (71-68-72-71) in the fall of 2020. Next spring, he shot five shots higher (73-72-71-71) but finished one place better in T-18th.
Scheffler is the obvious No. 1 pick this week not only for his prowess at the Masters, but for the incredible run of form he’s been on.
He won four times in a little over two months to begin 2022 and is playing nearly as well again in 2023. The former Texas Longhorn has logged 10 straight top-12 finishes dating back to October. In that span, he defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open and won the Players Championship.
Scheffler’s last tournament at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play saw him nearly defend his title there, too. He had lots of fanfare in Austin as he swept through group play and into the semifinals before taking fourth place.
The 26-year-old defeated Davis Riley 1 Up, Alex Noren 5 & 4, and Tom Kim 3 & 2 in group play. Scheffler then beat JT Poston 1 Up and Jason Day 2 & 1.
Sam Burns upset Scheffler 1 Up in 21 holes in the semifinals. Scheffler then dropped 2 & 1 to Rory McIlroy in the third-place match.
Big Scheff has one of the most well-rounded skill sets out there. He’s got an underrated short game and is leading the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green per round (2.268).
He’s in a great head space and his down-to-earth attitude helps him stay grounded in tense situations like majors can bring.
Scheffler’s made 10 of 13 cuts in his career in majors. Never in those 10 did he finish worse than T-27th, and that was when he was low amateur at the 2017 U.S. Open.
He was runner-up at the 2022 U.S. Open.
While it’s tough to repeat as Masters champion, Scottie has all the makings of doing so.