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Players Championship | Scottie Scheffler’s year?

In his first 70 PGA tournaments, Scottie Scheffler had never won. In his last three starts, he has won twice. The American is definitely the favorite to win the Players Championship, which will kick off on Thursday.

Posted on March 10

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard
The Press

Considered the “fifth major” of the PGA calendar, the Players Championship will still take place at the legendary TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Like its 17and hole, this course will once again represent a real challenge for golfers this year.

Fortunately, they were able to prepare adequately during the last tournament, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, because the Bay Hill course gave the participants a lot of trouble. On this course worthy of those chosen to organize the United States Open, many golfers have hit a wall. Whether in the long grass or on the hard-to-negotiate greens.

Nevertheless, one golfer was particularly brilliant. Scheffler once again demonstrated the full extent of his talent over the weekend.

Scheffler broke the deadlock a few times with several dazzling saves. He was also one of the most efficient in his approaches and his putting.


PHOTO JOHN RAOUX, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Scottie Scheffler won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, Florida last weekend.

He arrives at the Players’ Championship in full possession of his means and above all with the confidence and the assurance that he can win.

The big outbreak

Scheffler has enjoyed success at all stages of his career, whether as a junior, at the University of Texas or on the Korn Ferry circuit.

The American started playing regularly on the PGA Tour two seasons ago. He was then part of the new guard. Of these promising young players who would form the next generation of champions, with Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Cameron Champ.

Scheffler was never the child prodigy. Those close to him describe him as a humble young man who is passionate about his sport. According to his trainer at the Royal Oaks Country Club, the renowned Randy Smith, Scheffler never skipped stages and climbed the ladder in a fairly classic way. Everything happened organically and in the order of things.

A native of New Jersey, the golfer moved with his family members to Dallas, Texas when he was a child. Today, Dallas is his home. It was there that he met his wife. The two met in high school and have been inseparable ever since.


PHOTO JOHN RAOUX, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Scottie Scheffler, accompanied by his wife, Meredith

Scheffler is one of the most popular players on the tour, as evidenced by the thunder of encouragement that descends on him at every tournament he plays. The fact that he is a rising star in golf, yet remains so humble and approachable, is probably what appeals to golf fans. His story is like that of millions of Americans who can identify with him. He doesn’t come from a big family, he married his childhood sweetheart and he works hard, every day. The kind of story that appeals to audiences.

On the field, even if he is not the most expressive, Scheffler lets his talent speak for itself. The American will have needed 70 starts to win a first title. He is now 20 top 10including 5 obtained this year in 11 tournaments.

Scottie Scheffler’s two wins this season are no accident. He had to work hard to get them.

In Phoenix in mid-February, he played three overtime holes against none other than Patrick Cantlay, one of the most consistent and steadfast players on the tour. He is also the reigning FedEx Cup champion. Scheffler had the guts to stall his winning putt over a very long distance, in front of one of the most hostile crowds in the United States.

Furthermore, just before the tournament, the 25-year-old decided to make a major change to his equipment by changing his putter. He remained with the Scotty Cameron brand, but it was the first time he had made such a significant change to his gear since turning pro. His bet will have finally paid off.

Especially since it is also what explains his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. If he was able to put on the red cardigan at the end of the tournament, it was because of his aplomb on the greens.

Young people lead the way

The task will not be easy at TPC Sawgrass for Scheffler. Not only because the course won’t do anyone any favours, but also because the competition will be fierce.

For golf lovers, every tournament has been a delight since the start of the season. The PGA is led by young people and at each tournament, they want to surpass themselves to prove themselves.

For the first time in history, the top five players in the world rankings are all under the age of 30. Jon Rahm (27), Collin Morikawa (25), Viktor Hovland (24), Patrick Cantlay (29) and Scheffler (25) all have a shot at taking top honors this week.

Since the start of the season, each tournament has been unpredictable. One out of three tournaments was won by a player who had never before won a title on the circuit. Lucas Herbert, Talor Gooch, Luke List, Tom Hoge, Scottie Scheffler, Sepp Straka and Ryan Brehm all tasted victory for the first time.

The players arrive better and better prepared and the youngsters are no longer impressed. There is nothing taken for granted for the experienced players and the great champions of the circuit. The new guard has every intention of leaving its mark on the most important tournaments of the 2022 season.

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