Why everyone’s buzzing about Scottie Scheffler’s PGA Championship scouting trip
As if Scottie Scheffler wasn’t already a favorite to win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., next week, a report of Scheffler’s recent scouting trip there has spread like wildfire.
To sum: he was on his game.
“He played one ball the entire time, no practice putts, and made it look easy,” said Cameron Chhim, the assistant pro at Southern Hills who caddied for Scheffler on Thursday. Chhim spoke to Golf Oklahoma to detail the round, which has since been picked up by several outlets.
According to Chhim, the World No. 1 shot a six-under 64, playing the front nine in one under and the back in five under.
The obvious caveats are that the course was reportedly playing extremely soft, and you could argue that the best golfers in the world should put up gaudy numbers in stress-free rounds at laid-back country clubs. These are both true, but there’s more. Scheffler has already played competitive tournaments at Southern Hills (including a win at the 2015 Big 12 Championship) and has previously called it his favorite course.
So, add all of that up and, yes, there’s reason to shovel more coal into the Scheffler hype train as we roll into PGA week. He’s won four of his last six starts (not counting the Zurich Classic team event) and, according to BetMGM, Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are the current favorites to win the PGA at +1200. Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy are +1400.
Ryan Palmer, Scheffler’s partner at the Zurich, also joined Scheffler for the Southern Hills round.
“[Scheffler’s] No. 1 in the world and it was pretty easy to see why,” Chhim said. “It would be hard to say that he’s not going to win or at least be in contention. He hits it far enough and he has just incredible distance control with his irons. Ryan shot two or three under and looked like he was standing still based on how Scottie was playing.”
The PGA Championship is May 19-22. We’ve already received reports on scouting trips from Tiger Woods and Scheffler, but soon we’ll find out how these guys play it when the TV cameras turn on. But first, Scheffler is playing this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
For more on how Scheffler played during his Southern Hills tune-up, including how he approached the par-5s and his deadly accuracy into greens, click here.