‘I’ll move on’: Scottie Scheffler explains crucial short miss on 72nd hole

Scottie Scheffler reacts to losing the Houston Open.

Scottie Scheffler missed from five feet to lose the Houston Open.

Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler just seemed inevitable.

He’d won his last two starts on the PGA Tour, two of the Tour’s biggest events, no less, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship. At this week’s Texas Children’s Houston Open, he opened the week with the lowest pre-tournament odds in a year on Tour.

After the first round, he had set the Tour record for consecutive rounds under par. Two days later, he was tied for the 54-hole lead.

Surely, Scheffler would emerge victorious from a group of five leaders, of which only Scheffler was a Tour winner.

Even after he fell two shots back after making a mess of the short but diabolical par-3 15th at Memorial Park for the second-straight day, Scheffler still had a par-5 left to play.

Surely, he could make up the two-shot deficit after he put his second shot within 20 feet of the hole.

Even when Scheffler missed, still managing to make birdie to trail his playing partner, Stephan Jaeger, by just one shot, he had a drivable par-4 left to play.

Surely, he could birdie one of the four easiest holes of the day.

Even when Scheffler pulled his drive left, played his short-sided pitch 11 feet past the hole and missed the putt, he would birdie the final hole.

scottie scheffler pictured at the third round of the texas children's houston open
Scottie Scheffler reacts to ‘horrendous break’ on diabolical par-3
By: Josh Berhow

And, yes, surely it looked that way.

At 18, Scheffler’s approach from 185 yards landed just short of the hole, checked and gently rolled out to five feet, four inches from the hole.

While Scheffler, whose short putting has been his one Achilles’ heel, missed from a similar distance on the same hole just two days earlier — and then missed the tap-in comebacker — this one still felt like a formality.

His opponent, Jaeger, was 15 feet outside him. When Jaeger missed, Scheffler’s shortie felt like the type of putt the No. 1 player in the world would bury, then head back to the tee for a playoff, and close out his third straight win, becoming the first Tour player to do so in seven years.

But golf is hard. Scheffler’s equalizer never was high enough and missed low left. He handed the win to Jaeger.

“I didn’t think it was going to move very much,” he said afterward. “I tried to hit it straight and I feel like I started right in the middle and looked like it broke off pretty hard, so just a misread.”

It was the only putt Scheffler missed inside seven feet on the weekend.

“I’ll move on as quickly as possible,” Scheffler added. “Obviously I’m a bit disappointed right now. At the end of the day it would be one thing if I pulled it or something like that. I just misread it. I don’t know why I misread it, it’s part of the game. Maybe I could have hit it with some more speed, I felt like I hit a nice putt kind of how I wanted to, just didn’t go.”

Scottie Scheffler
‘Almost painful to watch’: Scottie Scheffler streak is over on 2-foot mishap
By: Nick Piastowski

The miss capped what Scheffler described as a week where he got “some weird breaks,” despite finishing in a five-way tie for second. After recording 11 and 17 top-10s in the past two seasons, respectively, Scheffler’s runner-up in the Houston Open marks his seventh top-10 this season in eight starts, with the other finish being a T17 at the American Express.

After the bizzare three-putt on 18 from inside six feet Friday, Scheffler, despite shooting 66, left four or five shots on the course on the back nine alone Saturday. He bogeyed the par-4 13th despite being hole high off the tee. Then on 15, his approach on the 121-yard par-3 landed within 10 feet of the hole, only to spin back off the green and into the water, leading to a double.

“I put up a good fight, felt like I had some weird breaks this week,” Scheffler said. “That’s kind of the thing, like it’s tough to describe, but obviously I’m a bit disappointed. I hit two or three really good shots into 18 to give myself a chance and I feel like I made the putt and I looked up and it was breaking off. So a bit disappointing, but Stephan played great this week and he’s a deserving champion.”

Scottie Scheffler, he’s human after all.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.