Scottie Scheffler’s dominance now meets this fleeting challenge

This bender Scottie Scheffler is on. How long can it last?

How long can he continue to do this – win big golf tournaments, get massive winning checks in his pockets and make it all look so damn easy?

Make no mistake: Winning the Masters was not easy for the 25-year-old Scheffler. He simply made it look like this, took the lead Friday at Augusta National, built it up to as many as six shots on Sunday and never let it go.

His work was so methodically and thoroughly taken care of when he reached the 72nd hole that Scheffler was able to four-put the 18th green, missing two rabbits within 4 feet and still winning by three shots.

There is a word for it: Dominant.

And yet, Scheffler even admitted to having had an emotional meltdown Sunday morning with his wife, Meredith, who had to talk his blood pressure down and calm his nerves before he would go to the golf course and win his fourth tournament in the last six where he has played .

When Scheffler revealed at the post-tournament press conference that he “cried like a baby” because he did not think he was “ready” to become a major championship winner, like Cam Smith, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas and the other players , who had an outside chance to chase him, must have certainly wondered why that moment of doubt could not have taken place while he was standing on the 12th tee on Sunday.

Scheffler looks unstoppable right now. His game is solid – he is tall, he is accurate, he can put. His behavior on the course is incomparable. He is a 25-year-old who carries himself as an experienced and skilled 35-year-old.

Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler celebrates after winning the Masters.
Getty Images

But here’s the thing: If you think Scheffler will roll into the Southern Hills for the PGA Championship next month, throw his sticks on the first tee and win another major with his eyes closed, you have not paid enough attention to the PGA Tour recently.

Dominance is fleeting. Those who look like they are about to continue running, as Tiger Woods once did, and took it deep for months and years at a time, never seem to do so.

You may remember a time when Jon Rahm, who Scheffler just won the world rankings No. 1 from last month, was the betting favorite at every tournament he played. Rahm was reduced to a spectator in the Tiger Woods fishing bowl on Sunday, miles from battle, and has lost his mojo.

Before Rahm, there was a period when it looked like Brooks Koepka would never lose another major championship as he took out four of them in nine attempts from 2017-19. Koepka missed the Masters cut last Friday and his world rankings have dropped to 16th place.

Do you remember when Jordan Spieth looked to win all the Masters, win in 2015 and finish in second place in 2014 and 2016? Spieth missed the cut last week and has been looking for his game for a few years now.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
REUTERS
Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka
EPA

Rory McIlroy had four major championship victories in 2014 and appeared to be on cruise control against double-digit majors in his career. He has not won a major since 2014 and is still stuck at four.

Do you remember when Rickie Fowler finished in the top five of all four majors in 2014? His world rankings have plummeted to 138th and he failed to qualify for the Masters.

The last time a player was on a winning race like the one Scheffler has now was Jason Day in 2015, where he won four out of six events, including the 2015 PGA Championship.

Day not only has not won another major championship since the ’15 PGA, he did not even qualify to enter the field for this last Masters and is ranked 124th in the world at the moment.

This Masters was the 24th major since the start of 2016, and Scheffler was the 19th different winner.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
EPA

The moral of this story is this: Beat while your irons are hot.

Scheffler is in what players call “a window.” It’s a window where he probably feels he can not do anything wrong on the golf course. He knows that feeling will not last forever. The trick is to figure out a way to make it last as long as possible.

“We take care of it in those windows,” Woods said. “Scottie seems to be in that window right now.”

Woods’ “window” remained open longer than anyone else in the game’s history. Scheffler certainly will not. So enjoy it while it lasts.

“I’ve never been a guy who likes to look too far into the future,” Scheffler said. “For me, staying present is what works best for me.”

Good answer. Correct view.

Leave a Comment