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What next for Scottie Scheffler after rapid rise to world No 1: Major breakthrough at The Masters?

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Rich Beem

Golf Expert & Columnist

Scheffler has won the WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play over the past two months to leapfrog Jon Rahm as world No 1; 25-year-old will now chase maiden major title at The Masters from April 7-10, live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 29/03/22 7:20am


Scottie Scheffler, ranked world No 5 going into the WGC Match Play, moves to world No 1 after a 4&3 final victory over Kevin Kisner

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Scottie Scheffler, ranked world No 5 going into the WGC Match Play, moves to world No 1 after a 4&3 final victory over Kevin Kisner

Scottie Scheffler, ranked world No 5 going into the WGC Match Play, moves to world No 1 after a 4&3 final victory over Kevin Kisner

Rich Beem reflects on Scottie Scheffler’s rapid rise to world No 1 and looks at whether golf’s new superstar can continue his winning run with a major breakthrough at The Masters.

You are not always going to have your A-game for all seven matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but Scheffler played well enough when he needed to get the job done.

He really had to dig deep just make sure he got out of the group stage, especially after he lost his second match to Tommy Fleetwood, then looked awfully impressive in his wins on both Saturday and Sunday.

Scottie Scheffler managed to get the better of Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

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Scottie Scheffler managed to get the better of Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Scottie Scheffler managed to get the better of Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Scheffler came out on Sunday morning and took the golf course to Dustin Johnson, playing pretty much flawlessly through most of that semi-final. There were a couple of times he looked under pressure after seeing his lead cut from five, but he dug deep when it mattered most.

Kevin Kisner did not look like he had a chance in the final and it allowed Scheffler to hang tough and get another win, which was ridiculously impressive on top of the other two PGA Tour victories he had already enjoyed over the past few weeks.

Highlights of the WGC Match Play semi-final between Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler

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Highlights of the WGC Match Play semi-final between Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler

Highlights of the WGC Match Play semi-final between Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler’s impressive run comes off the base of him playing well over the past couple of seasons and enjoying a good Ryder Cup last autumn. It took a while for him to get across the line to win the play-off in Phoenix, then what we saw from him in his win at Bay Hill a couple of starts later – along with his Match Play win – really solidified what a competitor he is.

Scheffler: A worthy No 1?

There’s nothing in the rule book that says you have to win a major to become world No 1, just as the likes of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have shown in the past. You cannot hold not winning a major against Scheffler when it comes to the world rankings, because they are not based only on the majors.

The Masters – Live

April 7, 2022, 2:00pm

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The world rankings could perhaps reflect a little bit more on performances over a longer period of time, so I think there’s always room for improvement, but you cannot deny what Scheffler has achieved over the past couple of months.

He has won at Bay Hill – an Invitational event – and has now won a WGC, which is basically one step below that major, so you cannot downplay him being the world No 1 ranking on the basis that he has not won a major yet. I certainly think Scheffler is the best player in the world right now.

The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill

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The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill

The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill

Scheffler is winning at a pretty impressive clip right now and I think he deserves to be where he is, but it’s not going to stop someone from potentially coming out at The Masters and taking over top spot from him.

It’s going to be a very cyclical process over the next couple of seasons, just through the simple fact that any of the players in the world top-10 right now can jump up the world rankings very quickly with a hot run.

Scottie Scheffler explains why so many young players are now dominating the men's game

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Scottie Scheffler explains why so many young players are now dominating the men’s game

Scottie Scheffler explains why so many young players are now dominating the men’s game

A maiden major for Scheffler?

Scheffler has played in a dozen majors at most, so I think time will tell if he’s going to win one of them, although I truly believe there’s little doubt that he has the game and talent to do so.

The one thing about The Masters you always have to get past is the mental aspect of it, because there are lots of things that are tricky about the golf course and there’s also the history around it. You know that if you win The Masters you are in a very different kind of company and the Green Jacket obviously is a massive symbol, which is always something on the players’ minds.

The Masters – Live

April 7, 2022, 8:00pm

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You have also got to be able to chip and putt it without fear and that’s seemingly what Scheffler has, which he demonstrated so well at Austin Country Club on greens which would be just as fearful to play on if you moved them to Augusta National.

With the way he swings the golf club and the game he has right now, then I think Scheffler is ready to win a major championship and he’s going to be right in the mix at The Masters. Whether it’s at Augusta next week, we will have to wait and see.

Can Scottie Scheffler continue his winning run at The Masters? Watch the opening men’s major of the year live on from April 4-10 on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel – Sky Sports The Masters.





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