Scottie Scheffler’s dominance during the first half of the PGA Tour season went unnoticed on his journey to the top

How good has Scottie Scheffler been so far in 2022? There are a thousand ways to measure the answer to that question, and yet, with the 2021-22 season barely halfway through, what he’s already accomplished seems somewhat understated. Scheffler makes his first individual start since winning the Masters in April this week when he plays at the AT&T Byron Nelson (he competed in the Zurich Classic shortly after the Masters, which is a team event), and there will be a lot of fanfare but maybe not. enough given how dominant Scheffler has been since January 1.

Where should we start? How about this stat? Scheffler has four wins on the PGA Tour this calendar year, which is just one less than the rest of the top 10 players in the world. set. Or this one: He’s earned $10.1 million so far this season, which would be the sixth-most earnings in a single season in PGA Tour history with near-double-digit big-money events ahead of him.

Scheffler has so thoroughly dominated his competition by winning four times in nine events that he skipped the No. 4, No. 3 and No. 2 spots, jumping straight from No. 5 to No. 1 in the world after winning the WGC. -Dell. Match Play technologies just before the Masters. The gap in Official World Ranking points between him and No. 9 Jordan Spieth is the same as that between Spieth and No. 223 Matti Schmid of Germany.

Also consider his dominance at the top of the golf world. There have been seven events around the world this year where field strength has been at least 500. Scheffler has won four of those events: Masters, Match Play, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Phoenix Open. He has more wins in the last three months than Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau have in the last two and a half years (since the start of 2020).

It’s also not a purely old-school domain. The statistical profile behind what Scheffler has done on the golf course has been staggering. He is earning 2.82 strokes per round, according to Data Golf, when no one else in the world is at 2.5, and only seven golfers are above 2.0. Scheffler has been a complete shot per round better than all but eight golfers and two shots better than most professional golfers on the planet.

It has been a truly extraordinary season, and it could continue to improve. Scheffler won the 2015 Big 12 individual championship at Southern Hills, and is well poised to continue his dominance in the main championship. He also extends past his green jacket in April. In his last seven major races, Scheffler has finished in the top 20 in all seven and in the top 10 in five of them. He is a great talent who is being seen as a great talent because he just broke through with wins.

At 25, I don’t know what direction Scheffler’s career will take. I know he is grounded enough to handle the emotional roller coaster of professional golf for a long period of time and has the talent to lurk in the top 10 (or higher) for long periods of time.

How things go the rest of this year is somewhat irrelevant. Scheffler will almost certainly be the PGA Tour Player of the Year given what he’s already accomplished, and all of this could go a way in which he puts together one of the best seasons in modern PGA Tour history (division outside of Tiger Woods). . Despite the fact that he’s been in this mega-heater, I’m not sure the golf fanatic fully understands that all of this is going on.

The percentage of world-class courses that Scheffler has beaten (again, 40% of the top 10) is utterly ridiculous, and given the way he has done it (an elite game from tee to green coupled with great game short, not the other the other way around), should be the favorite in every event he plays from here until the end of 2022. I doubt that’s the case though, which tells you everything you need to know about Scheffler’s year and how it is perceived. As good as he has been and as good as he projects to be, there is a feeling within golf that what Scheffler is doing is not being perceived correctly.

Scottie Scheffler is the best golfer in the world, both literally and figuratively. I’m just not sure everyone has figured it out yet.

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