Tour Confidential: Scheffler’s domination, PGA Tour-Saudi meeting

A split image of Jay Monahan and Scottie Scheffler with the Players trophy.

Is Scottie Scheffler going on a Tiger-like run good for the game?

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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, the PGA Tour’s latest PIF meeting, Jon Rahm’s Masters Champions Dinner menu and more.

1. Days after Scottie Scheffler won the Players for his second straight victory, Justin Thomas was asked if pro golf would be as better with one dominant player versus a core group of talented contenders. He said it depends. What say you?

Justin Thomas hits iron shot at PGA Tour event
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By: Josh Berhow

Jessica Marksbury, senior editor (@jess_marksbury): I agree with Justin. It DOES depend. The Tiger era was amazing of course because you had a dominant player breaking previously unthinkable records, but you could also argue that there was a pretty strong roster beneath him to keep things interesting; Phil, Ernie, Sergio, etc. A mix of those two is the true ideal.

Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): Dominance in golf is different than dominance in other sports. Dynasties like the 90s Yankees, 2000s Patriots and 2010s Alabama tend to be loathed for their constant winning outside of their own fanbases. In golf, a dominant player is celebrated (see: Tiger, Jack, etc.). Golf could use another superstar who comes in and asserts dominance over the entire sport. Scottie has that kind of talent, and it sure would be fun to watch — and good for the sport at large.

Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): Zephyr hits the nail on the head here. I’ll add that dominance in golf is much harder than other sports, since instead of playing one player or team at a time, you have to beat 70, 100, 156, etc. players every week to put up the kinds of run Tiger had. That allows fans to truly appreciate what is going on. If Scheffler wins five or six times this year, including a major, interest in him — and the game — will spike.

2. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told players via text that a meeting between PGA Tour Enterprises player directors and Saudi PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan was “constructive” but provided few other details. If you were one of those player directors at that meeting and heavily invested in the Tour’s future, what’s the most important question you’d want answered from Al-Rumayyan?

jay Monahan holds face from Players Championship winner's cerermony
Jay Monahan provides update on secret PGA Tour-Saudi meeting
By: James Colgan

Marksbury: I would want to know, does your vision for pro golf include multiple tours, or is the ultimate intention to converge into one? And, who gets to play? Is there guaranteed money for everyone? How much control do I have over my schedule?

Melton: How does he plan to help unify the game? Having multiple tours isn’t good for anyone, save for the LIV stars’ accountants. If this PIF deal is gonna happen, it needs to come with assurances from Yasir that this two-tours nonsense is done with.

Hirsh: Speaking from a player’s perspective, I want assurances that they will still control the Tour’s decision-making. The agreement with the PIF was so shocking for a multitude of different reasons, but the most jarring was that the players had no idea it was happening. The PGA Tour is supposed to be a member’s organization and the members should be in control of the decision-making. Now that the SSG has invested heavily in the Tour, how much will a further investment by the PIF dilute the members’ control?

3. In a press conference after Jon Rahm released his Masters Champions Dinner menu, the 2023 Masters champ went into surprisingly great detail regarding the tournaments he wasn’t able to defend his titles at and what it was like watching the Players Championship unfold on TV. Do you sense Rahm misses the Tour more than some of his LIV peers? Or has he just been more open to explaining how life has changed for him since?

Jon Rahm addressed the media ahead of this year's Memorial Tournament.
Jon Rahm reveals ‘difficult’ part of leaving PGA Tour for LIV Golf
By: Josh Berhow

Marksbury: It sure sounds like he does. Rahm has always been a thoughtful player who cares a lot about the game’s history. But he’s also been in the spotlight on the PGA Tour as one of the most sought-after interviews, not to mention a fan favorite, for several years. As such an entertaining personality, it must be jarring to now play for limited galleries and have a much smaller media presence. I’d imagine the opportunity to perform at the majors must be more attractive than ever for him.

Melton: Rahm’s competitive fire burns hotter than just about any golfer in the world, and competing in 54-hole events in front of very few fans doesn’t seem like it satisfies that cut-throat mentality. It’s gotta be hard watching an event like the Players come down to the wire and to not be involved. There are some things money can’t buy. 

Hirsh: Yeah, you can tell Rahm isn’t as happy with his move to LIV Golf as some of the others given some of his outbursts. Perhaps that is because he thinks he should have already won a LIV event already when the talent pool might be better than he anticipated now. I also think he foresaw the path back to PGA Tour membership being clearer by now than it is. It sure seemed like he was surprised when he wasn’t able to play in any of the early-season events, meaning he might have been sold on an agreement being closer than it was.

4. Kevin Streelman unveiled a unique ball mark at the Valspar Championship that paid big dividends. What’s a gadget, training aid or gizmo that’s most helped your game over the years?

Kevin Streelman unveiled a unique ball mark at the Valspar Championship — and it's paying dividends.
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By: Jessica Marksbury

Marksbury: I don’t use a lot of swing aids, but one thing that has always helped me with the short game is the towel drill. Put a towel under your armpits and swing back and through, without letting the towel slip out. It reinforces the connection you need to have between the arms and body throughout the swing.

Melton: I’ve been loving the ProSENDR of late. Helps promote proper wrist structure and has really helped my ball striking with the irons.

Hirsh: Jess, I LOVE the towel drill! I got a Tour Striker PlaneMate at the start of COVID and I love using it to help exaggerate the feels I want to have during the golf swing.

5. Speaking of Rahm’s Masters Champions Dinner menu, what did you think of it? And, more importantly, you just won the Masters. Congrats! Now, what are you serving?

Masters champions at 2023 Masters Champions Dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse
Jon Rahm’s Masters Champions Dinner menu is out, and we’re salivating
By: Jack Hirsh

Marksbury: Rahm’s menu looks absolutely incredible. I can’t even pronounce some of the items. But I’m a simple gal. Tiger’s cheeseburger and milkshake combo is the ultimate meal forever! 

Melton: I’m a Texas guy, so it’s gotta be a barbeque, right? Tough to beat that.

Hirsh: Big fan of Rahm’s menu, and I’m a pretty picky eater, so that’s saying something. For my menu, I think I’d take some of the best of the last three Champions dinner menus. I’d take Rahm’s tapas, Hideki Matsuyama’s Japanese Waygu Ribeye (I’ve never had Waygu!) and Scheffler’s skillet cookie from last year!

Though, I think it would be a crime if I didn’t put a Philly twist on one of these and add mini cheesesteaks and pretzels to the tapas.

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