Scottie Scheffler joins Tiger Woods with latest victory

Scottie Scheffler joins Tiger Woods with latest accomplishment.
Scottie Scheffler - 2024 Travelers Championship
Scottie Scheffler - 2024 Travelers Championship / James Gilbert/GettyImages

We’ve spent a while looking for the next Jack Nicklaus, next Arnold Palmer, or next Tiger Woods, and yet before our eyes, we have the first Scottie Scheffler. A guy who has already won six times this season. The last person to do that was Tiger Woods in 2009, according to the PGA Tour. And the season isn’t finished yet.   

While it’s unlikely that Scheffler will pull a Byron Nelson and win 18 times in a year, it’s hard to believe that he won’t win one or two more of the events he plays this season. With a newborn, he has even more to play for, not that he needs any more material goods or extra motivation.

“I don't really define myself by my wins or by my losses, and so I do my best to compete and have the right attitude,” he said after winning the Travelers, a signature event this season. “It's been a tremendous year, and I'm grateful to have some wins.”

Many players set goals at the beginning of each season. Others set them for their career, like the much-heralded poster of Nicklaus’ victories that was on Woods’ bedroom wall when he was a youngster.

Scheffler says he doesn’t do goal setting. He particularly doesn’t do long term goal setting.

“I have what I would call dreams and aspirations and those will probably never change, but as far as goals for the year, nothing really changes for me,” he explained.

Whatever Scottie Scheffler and his team are doing, it certainly agrees with him.

Their system has created success at hard courses, like Augusta National and Muirfield Village, and at easier courses, like TPC River Highlands. That’s no offense to TPC River Highlands, but Jim Furyk and Cameron Young both shot 59s there and Furyk then shot a 58.

Scheffler even talked about the fact that he usually doesn’t do well at low-scoring courses.

“I feel like I haven't always been able to get it across the line at the tournaments where they're more of a shoot-out,” he said. “I feel like most of my wins have been on some more difficult tracks. So it's nice to be able to come here where putting is so important and holing the right putts when you need to is so important.”

There was a different kind of satisfaction he took from this victory because of that. 

If there was a downside to the win, it was beating his good friend Tom Kim in the playoff.

“It's difficult, because part of me wants him to miss the putt, and part of me wants him to make the putt,” Scheffler admitted. “Then when I see him make bogey in the playoff hole, it hurts because that's my friend, and that's not a great feeling.” 

He cited the putt Kim made to throw the tournament into a playoff.

“He should remember that putt he made on 18 because it was pretty special,” Scheffler added.

In addition to the excitement of winning, there was another brush with law enforcement. But this was the good kind. Some supposed climate change protesters ran onto the 18th green just as the final threesome of Scheffler, Kim, and Akshay Bhatia approached. They were tackled and arrested by police faster than anyone could figure out what they were doing. The miscreants also set off gas canisters which deposited red stuff at the hole location and some white stuff in two other locations on the green.

They apparently did not understand that golf is a green activity that, according to the USGA, sequesters atmospheric carbon and helps improve air quality. Apparently, they are throw smoke bombs first, skip looking up actual facts group.  

The greens crew appeared and cleaned up the mess so that the golfers could finish, which, as Scheffler said, Kim did, forcing a playoff.

Then a new cup was cut, and the remaining material on the green was cleaned up, and the playoff began between Scheffler and Kim. Scheffler won on the first playoff hole for his sixth victory this season.