The Rise and Rise of Scottie Scheffler: Golf’s Newest Phenom

Whenever a young player comes along in golf and enjoys instant, meteoric success, there are inevitable comparisons with Tiger Woods. Often, those lumbered with such massive shoes to fill will – with all due respect – crash and burn, but in Scottie Scheffler golf finally has a young man ready to meet comparisons with Tiger head-on.

At the PGA Championship later in May, he will have a chance to add another major trophy to his already burgeoning collection.

A Winning Machine

As of January 2022, Scheffler hadn’t even won on the PGA Tour. Fast forward 15 months or so and he’s a serial winner, with six PGA TOUR victories under his belt including a major. Is it any wonder that Scheffler, at +800, is sandwiched in-between Jon Rahm (+700) and Rory McIlroy (+900) in the latest golf odds for the PGA Championship?

The PGA betting market is deep, with a number of proven winners available beyond that big trio. Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have all won majors before – Thomas is a two-time and defending PGA Championship victor, while the likes of Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, and Tony Finau have resumés that are improving year on year.

But they will have to go some to defeat Rahm, McIlroy, and Scheffler, who have claimed 14 PGA TOUR titles between them since the beginning of 2022. However, it’s Scheffler – despite the sportsbooks’ assertion to the contrary in their odds – that heads to Oak Hill Country Club as the man to beat.

Six of the Best

Although it was February 2022 when Scheffler made his first step into the big time, the genesis of his success came prior to that. He enjoyed plenty of success as an amateur, winning three Big 12 championships with the University of Texas, playing his part in the 2017 Walker Cup victory, and finishing as a low amateur in the U.S. Open.

In his first year on the PGA TOUR, the now 26-year-old finished fourth in the PGA Championship and shot a magical round of 59 at The Northern Trust – only the 12th sub-60 round in tour history. It’s no wonder that Scheffler was crowned Rookie of the Year in 2020.

The following year, Scheffler was already called up to the American Ryder Cup roster, enjoying his team’s win over Europe and sewing the seeds of his later friendly rivalry with Rahm – he defeated the Spaniard in singles action at the event.

But it was February 2022 when Scheffler’s reign of terror really got underway. He landed his maiden PGA Tour win at the Phoenix Open, and within the space of the next ten weeks, he had added the Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC Dell Match Play, and – most notably – The Masters to his collection. That was a run of form that can only be described as ‘Tiger-esque’.

They say that timing is everything in sport, and Scheffler will head to the PGA Championship later this month in the midst of another heater: he successfully defended his Phoenix Open crown back in February, before adding the Players Championship – the so-called ‘fifth major’ – at TPC Sawgrass in March. So everything is coming together at the right time once more for Scheffler; can anybody stop him from winning yet another big title at the PGA Championship?