Tour Confidential: How many wins can Scottie Scheffler get in 2024?

Scottie Scheffler looks on at the Travelers Championship.

How many more wins can Scottie Scheffler get this year?

James Gilbert/Getty Images

Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topics in the sport, and join the conversation by tweeting us at @golf_com. This week, we discuss Scottie Scheffler’s dominance (again…), Rory McIlroy’s headspace, Nelly Korda’s recent slide and more.

1. Scottie Scheffler beat Tom Kim on the first playoff hole to win the Travelers Championship to secure his sixth win of the season — the most since Tiger Woods won six in 2009 and the most before July since Arnold Palmer in 1962. With roughly five starts remaining in the 2024 season, how many more wins do you think Scheffler can realistically get?

Scottie Scheffler
After a chaotic protest on 18th green, Scottie Scheffler wins Travelers
By: Nick Piastowski

Josh Sens, senior writer (@joshsens): Five. Not being cheeky here. Could happen. Odds suggest otherwise, as he has only won a little more than ⅓ of his starts so far this year. So maybe he will just grab two or three. But Scheffler running the slate would not shock me. 

Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): Sens, I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but you are off your rocker here! There’s only nine more tournaments plus the Olympics! I say two. My guess is that he won’t even play the Scottish Open so he’s only going to make four more starts. I say he wins the Open and grabs the Tour Championship with his two-shot headstart. Seems a little unfair that he has the most FedEx Cup points ever under this format and he’ll only be start in that staggered start format (of which I am a fan of) two ahead, but I guess they can’t just hand him $25 million.

James Colgan, news and features editor (@jamescolgan26): Ooo, love a good, old-fashioned debate. I’ll take a middle-man answer of 3.5 wins, but if Scottie proves his high-ball game can mesh well with links golf, Sens could be looking real good in a month.

Sens: Well, if he only had four starts then of course he can’t win five. The question was whether it’s realistic, defined as being within the bounds of reason. Doesn’t mean it will happen. But it certainly could. Let’s make it a friendly wager, Jack. If he wins more than two, you apologize publicly for disrespecting your elders. If he doesn’t, i’ll buy you a new lunchbox. 

Hirsh: Wow, wow, wow, you say he is going to each of his next four-five starts, yet you win if he wins three? I’ll take that bet, but only if it’s he wins all of his starts vs. two or fewer. Three is a push! Also, I’m assuming we’re talking a Cypress Point logo’d lunch box, yes?

Sens: I was thinking Thomas the Tank Engine.

2. Five of Scheffler’s six wins have come in non-majors, which means there were no LIV Golf members competing. Years from now, when the PGA Tour/LIV dust (presumably) settles, will not having those full fields with the best players in the world do anything to devalue what’s been a historic season?

bryson dechambeau points towards the sky at the U.S. Open in flat cap
After the U.S. Open, Bryson DeChambeau delivered an unexpected plea
By: James Colgan

Sens: Scheffler has been astounding. But because this is sports, where all topics get picked over and argued about in granular detail, I think there will have to be an asterisk included. Bryson DeChambeau beat Scheffler the last two times they went head to head. How could there not be? But it will be a very small asterisk, mentioned by only the most irritable of cranks. And as with most sports-related debates of that kind, anyone who gets too worked up about it should probably find better things to do with their life. 

Hirsh: I think an asterisk is a little strong. Maybe a little, but he did beat everyone* at the Masters and if he beats everyone again at Troon it won’t matter. What he’s doing is absurd no matter who he’s playing against.

*Talor Gooch did not play in the Masters.

Colgan: You guys are nuts. Scottie is playing at the highest level of any player alive right now. Period. End of story. It’d add some luster if he’d won all of these events against LIV players, but six wins in a year is six wins in a year. It’s damn impressive, and it’s NOT earning an asterisk any time soon.

Hirsh: Don’t lump me in with Sens! I said just a little, but agree with you that it does not detract from what he’s doing and would only add if LIV players were in the PGA Tour fields he’s beaten.

3. One player who wasn’t at the Travelers Championship was Rory McIlroy, who withdrew one day after his U.S. Open loss. In a statement on his social accounts, McIlroy congratulated Bryson DeChambeau, said he’ll stew over his short misses on 16 and 18 and that he was going to “take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up” before returning for the Genesis Scottish Open and Open Championship. He also added that he feels “closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have.” After what you saw at Pinehurst, do you agree or disagree with that?

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the 13th green during the final round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 16, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
‘I’m going to take a few weeks away’: Rory McIlroy WDs from Travelers Championship
By: Jessica Marksbury

Sens: I would think McIlroy has to tell himself that. I hope he’s right. If we’re taking the optimistic view, we could focus on 2011, when he collapsed at the Masters and then bounced back in his very next major start to win the US Open. He’s too talented not to get himself back into contention in a biggie. But I don’t know how you could argue that the devastating end at Pinehurst has put him closer to winning a major. If anything, it has to have put more hobgoblins in his head. 

Hirsh: I don’t think anyone would argue that Rory McIlroy is a far better player now than he was 10 years ago. However, the wins in the biggest stages are just not coming. It feels a little like how you learn how to putt. Kids are always great putters because they don’t have memories of misses weighing down on them. As they miss more and more putts in their life, they become tentative and scared of missing. They play not to lose. Feels like Rory plays not to lose a lot. At the same time, I would not be shocked at all if he wins the Open.

Colgan: I actually agree with Rory’s sentiment here. In this decade-long stretch of major championship heartbreak, we’ve only seen Rory in the driver’s seat twice. One of those times (the 150th Open) he got beat; the other (Pinehurst) he beat himself. These opportunities are finite, but the way he played for the first 15 holes on Sunday was unlike anything we’ve seen since 2014. If you’re in McIlroy’s shoes, optimism is the only way forward.

4. Amy Yang had 21 top 10s in 74 career majors played before she finally won her first, when she pulled away from the field at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club outside of Seattle, Wash. Where does the tree-lined and tight Sahalee rank among your favorite (or least favorite) major venues?

Nelly Korda at the KPMG Women's PGA.
A golf major hosted at a bowling alley? Why Sahalee has pros going wild
By: Dylan Dethier

Hirsh: Golf in the Pacific Northwest just rules. Why? Because it’s different. Where else are you going to see trees that big and that narrow, but the key that makes Sahalee fair is that the limbs aren’t overhanging. It’s mostly evergreen trees where it’s clear where you need to hit it. I love the challenge Sahalee presented because it asked you to narrow your margin for error. Aim small, miss small as they say. The last two women’s major hosts have been home runs in the same year they get to play St. Andrews.

Sens: Aesthetically, I’m with Jack. It’s a different look, and a beautiful one. From a strategy standpoint, it’s not as interesting as some other major venues. The ‘angles’ crowd have a point when they gripe about Sahalee. But it’s a course with a cool sense of place, and it made for a nice change of pace. 

Hirsh: Sure, it doesn’t present the options to hit all different kinds of shots like Pinehurst does. But it does force you to be precise and hit it in the right spot. Is it not worth something from a strategic standpoint?

Colgan: Sorry to our readers in the PNW, but I’d be okay if major championship golf never returned to Sahalee. We should demand our major hosts test all factors of a player’s game: from precision and shot-making to temerity and strategic intelligence. Sahalee got half the way there, but it fell short where it mattered.

5. After winning five straight starts — and six in a seven-tournament span — Nelly Korda has now missed the cut in her last three starts, with two of those six rounds in the 80s. Have you seen something different from her this past month? What’s going on?

Nelly Korda
Nelly Korda implodes with career-worst score, drops 72 spots to miss cut at PGA 
By: Nick Piastowski

Hirsh: Could just be more exhaustion than she is letting on. Winning is hard. Heck, golf is hard. You never own it, you can only rent it. You find something for a couple months and then you lose it. She could get it back next week. She may never get it back. That’s just the reality of the fickle game we love. 

Sens: Just before her recent torrid run, she took a self-imposed break to recharge. My best guess is she could use another one of those, golf being 90 percent mental and 10 percent mental. 

Colgan: I have seen something different. Nelly has withstood some withering critiques of her public image, witnessed her game fail her at two major championship tests, and has still spoken honestly and eloquently after each of those failures. Competitively, she’s in a rut. But after so much talk about her standing as the face of the sport juxtaposed against her introverted personality, it’s pretty awesome to see her putting her money where her mouth is.

6. Cameron Young shot an 11-under 59 during the third round of the Travelers to record the 13th sub-60 score in Tour history. Jim Furyk is still the only player with a 58, although four players were actually better in relation to par (13 under) than Furyk’s 58 (12 under). Let’s have some fun and split hairs: is one specific sub-60 round better than the rest? Or is the answer Furyk regardless?

Cameron Young plays a shot at the Travelers Championship.
Cameron Young blitzes TPC River Highlands for historic 59, 13th PGA Tour sub-60 round
By: Jack Hirsh

Hirsh: Yes, absolutely some sub-60 rounds are better than others. There’s a reason courses have “competitive course records.” Conditions and setups matter. I don’t think Furyk’s 58 is the best one. Analytics suggest Al Geiberger’s 59, the first sub-60 round in 1977, was the best from a strokes gained perspective (Young’s was the worst… least best). I agree with Brandel Chamblee’s take that David Duval’s 59 in Palm Springs, in a final round to win a tournament, was the best given all of the circumstances.

Sens: What Jack said. If all 59s were created equal, we’d have to include the one I posted at Captain Hook’s putt-putt in Myrtle Beach. 

Colgan: I shot 57 in front of Josh Sens at Kingston Heath a few months ago. Shame nobody remembers it, even if it was only on the front nine.

Sens: I remember it because I lost to you by one.

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