The Scheff didn’t quite complete the four-course meal last week at the WM Phoenix Open, but he still served up some fine fare.
Scottie Scheffler was scorching hot to finish a weather-delayed third round Sunday morning and kept it going early in the final round.
He was rolling in birdies left and right and looked destined to romp to his third straight championship at TPC Scottsdale. He didn’t even have to beat the higher-quality field that was assembled last year when it was a Designated Event (which is now referred to as Signature Event in the PGA Tour’s dizzying nomenclature).
Golf is a fickle thing, though, and Scheffler could not hang on en route to a ho-hum T-3rd (68-66-66-66) finish. What’s not fickle is his putter, and in a bad way. It was the usual story where Scheffler striped shot after shot, only to miss the mark on the greens.
He ranked first in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (9.243), first in greens in regulation (84.72%), and second in SG: Off-the-Tee (4.616). His putter was far from a strength, but at least it wasn’t a net negative. Scheffler gained .425 strokes on the greens for the week to rank 44th.
If he can inch up into the 30s this week, that might be all it takes. It’s not like he has a lifetime of bad putting hindering him. It’s a prolonged slump that could be behind him in a moment’s notice.
Scheffler has been a model of consistency everywhere on the PGA Tour since hitting the scene. Riviera is yet another venue where he’s posted a bounty of low scores.
The former Texas Longhorn is 4-for-4 making the cut and has yet to fall outside the top 30. Scheffler took T-30th (69-72-71-70) in his debut in 2020, T-20th (67-74-74-66) in 2021, T-7th (66-72-65-69) in 2022, and T-12th (70-68-70-68) last year.
Scheffler will be able to keep his ball between the mayo and the mustard this week at a place where slight mishits can be punished severely.
“I think good golf translates well on this golf course,” Scheffler was transcribed in 2023 by Tee Scripts.“When you're hitting it really well and you're playing good golf, this is a place that you can score on. And the opposite is said, when you're not hitting it well, this golf course will punish you.”
Scheffler’s results in 2024 have gone T-5th at The Sentry, T-17th at The American Express, and T-6th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am prior to Phoenix.
I like him to continue that trend of top-tier finishes with his best yet. The only one to top Scheffler this week will be the native son.