How do you go from being the best player in the world without winning to being the best player in the world? Just ask Scottie Scheffler. The 25-year-old from New Jersey, who was incredibly ranked 14th in the world just 42 days ago, is one of the top players in the world today. Schaefler, who joined the PGA Tour in 2020, played less than 70 events on the PGA Tour when he teded it up at the WM Phoenix Open in February 2020 and recorded his groundbreaking victory. Last week, when Schaffler overcame the last person to stand at the WGC World Matchplay Championships — Kevin Kissner — he completed a three-win, 42-day run that is unprecedented in the modern era.
Here are the statistics. In the last six weeks, Scheffler has raised 6.2 million in prize money. This translates to an amazing $ 1.2 million for each event, starting with the WM Phoenix Open. A week later, the top-10 was finished at Genesis Invitational. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational in early March, Schaefler took to the field to win his second tour event in less than a month. And now, after a remarkable outing at The Player’s Championship, he is back to win the coveted WGC matchplay. This amazing race was captured in an Instagram post by golf digest magazine ‘Fastest to World Number One’ (after its first win on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour). Say, Schaffler needs only 42 days compared to Tiger Woods’ 252 days or David Duval’s 532 days. Beat that.
“It’s not something I didn’t want to achieve or believe I could do,” Scheffler said of his newly acquired rankings. I just grew up in Royal Oaks. I grew up wearing long pants to go to practice because I wanted to be a professional golfer. This is what I dreamed. I dreamed of being out here. That ranking really didn’t cross my mind. It was always about being out here and competing, “he said.
And he competes. Against the first course, and finally his peers. In the alluring matchplay event, it was fitting that the man standing between Sheffler and Glory was none other than Kevin Kissner. The man who has a habit of breaking down many fancy opponents every time he goes to Mano-A Mano in the World Matchplay is in great form. In the semifinals, Kisner broke Adam Scott at the finish line after seeing a trademark performance. Scott, who was ahead with 3 holes in four games, was the victim of a simple explosion of inspiration from Kisner who stole the match from under the Aussies’ nose. In the final, however, all of Kisner’s determination and efficiency paid off as Schফলffler dropped him to 4th and 3rd.
Schaffler’s path to the final was full of marquee names. In the final stages of the event, he went against 2017 champion Dustin Johnson and then, in the semifinals, competed against the man at the top of the world rankings – John Rahm. Schaefler’s massive win over Kisner does not detract from the latter’s unprecedented race which is easily the favorite event of the people on the trip. Kisner, who has been to the final three times in the last four years (he won in 2019), has made some incredible catastrophes over the years. Over the years, his matches have been one of the most watched highlight reels online, and there’s no question he’ll be back next time. And that’s why the galleries love him.
Away from the PGA Tour, Thai golfers were making waves. In the LPGA, 19-year-old Athaya Thatikul advanced to the final round, six behind the JTBC Classic. He then fired the best round of the week, an eight-under 64, to post the clubhouse lead. When Nanna Quertz Madsen made a three-put in the last hole, the two went to the playoffs and won the titular title. Talk about rookie confidence.
Meanwhile in Asia, it was a 25-year-old Thai golfer who snatched the game from the talented Ajitesh Sandhu at the inaugural DGC Open of the Asian Tour. Sandhu যার whose swing is most clearly made in imitation of Adam Scott’s action ছিলেন unfortunately stumbled after leading two strokes with just two holes on the final day. Both players birdied 72 holes to advance to a playoff where Thippong made birdies to squander Sandhu’s chances and pocket the $ 90,000 winner’s check. “I can’t express my feelings now. I have been waiting for this for a long time to win the Asian Tour, ”said Nitithorn, a professional since 2015, whose biggest win so far was the 2018 PGM Penang Championship at the 2018 Asian Development Tour.
The Indians, though composed in defeat, must at least be very disappointed. But Sandhu can take comfort in the fact that he came as close to her. Once you start knocking on the door, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down. It can take days, or even weeks… even 70 events before you win one and open Floodgate. Just ask Scottie Scheffler.
Meraj Shah, a golfer, also wrote about the game