‘Different kind of beatdown’: What separates Tiger Woods’ dominance from Scottie Scheffler’s

This week at the PGA Championship, World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler will attempt to win for a mind-blowing fifth time in his last six starts. He won twice in both March and April (including his second Masters), and the only tournament he didn’t win was sandwiched between those victories, a T2 at the Texas Children’s Houston Open in which he missed a short putt on the 72nd hole that would have forced a playoff.

Scheffler’s dominance — and yawning gap between him and No. 2 in the World Ranking, Rory McIlroy — has drawn comparisons to what Tiger Woods did in his prime, especially if Scheffler can keep it up.

Former PGA champion Rich Beem was the guest on this week’s Subpar podcast, and he talked about the similarities and differences shared by Woods and Scheffler.

“I think that when folks start talking about the Tiger Woods legacy, that’s what Scottie is doing right now. Tiger obviously did it for about a dozen straight years, and so that’s the biggest difference,” Beem said. “What you are seeing right now with Scottie is pretty much that — he’s just not giving anyone a chance. And I think when most people tee it up with him, they kind of understand they are going to have to play their absolute best because Scottie doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes and he doesn’t ever look like he’s going to make a lot of mistakes. He keeps himself in position time and time again, and you watch the way that he hits it and the way that he attacks these golf courses, he doesn’t really give you a lot of hope.”

Beem added that once Scheffler put the TaylorMade Spider Tour X putter in his bag at Bay Hill — which was the first of his four-wins-in-five-starts streak — you could sense he finally looked comfortable with a putter.

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That led to a bucket-load of wins and the inevitable comparisons to some of the streaks Woods put together. Although Beem says Scheffler likely doesn’t strike the same amount of fear among the field as Woods did (at least not yet).

“No offense to Scottie, but it wasn’t just Tiger you were playing against — it was the 40, 50 or 60,000 fans that were with him,” Beem said. “… As good as Scottie is, he hasn’t kind of — I don’t want to say warmed or endeared to fans — but he hasn’t given them that excitement that Tiger always did with the fist pumps and raising the roof and things like that. Scottie just goes ‘Thank you’ and just demoralizes you because you know you aren’t nearly as good as him. It’s a different kind of beatdown.

“He just doesn’t have the dynamic,” Beem continued. “He’s got the game, but he doesn’t have the dynamic aspect of it right now. But if he continues to play as well as he does right now, I think he’ll have a different identity to being World No. 1 and being as dominant as Tiger if he continues this track.”

For more from Beem, including his thoughts on the PGA Champions Dinner (and one popular PGA winner, John Daly) listen here or watch the YouTube video below.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.