The Round Table: Scottie Scheffler is on a historic roll

Each week we ask our panel of writers, PGA members and golf industry experts to weigh in with their views on the hot topics of the day.

Ho hum, Scottie Scheffler again. Six wins this year, all in elevated, designated, Signature style events including the Players and the Masters. What can you say about Scottie’s game that hasn’t already been said? There are nine events left on the schedule, plus the Olympics, probably five of which Scheffler will play. Can he keep winning at this pace?

Jim Deeks, Fairways Magazine (@jimdeeks): Too bad that the one big event that’s escaped Scottie’s grasp this year was the US Open. But it’s already been a phenomenal year, unprecedented in my long memory, and it’s barely half over.  In the last season and a half, he’s won nearly $50 million.  He might even threaten Lord Byron’s season of 11 victories (1945, against slightly reduced wartime competition.)  Can he keep winning “at this pace”?  I have no reason to think not, and as ho-hum as it may seem, we are truly watching golf history in the making.  I hope he can keep it up.

Michael Schurman, Master Professional / Hall of Fame Member, PGA of Canada: Who would have thought we would see a dominant player so close to the end of Tiger.? With all of the player development and training knowledge and equipment available who would have predicted the dominant player would have a swing that looks so unconventional? And, given the depth of fields who would think anyone would be good enough to dominate? Yet here we are in the Scottie era. Strangely, his swing is unique, and his ball striking is the best. His putting used to be suspect, but he has a conventional style. When he first arrived on Tour, he looked like he would have a decent career. months later, he is gaining the ‘intimidation’ factor Jack and Tiger had. Get comfortable. He’ll be here a while.

TJ Rule, Golf Away Tours (@GolfAwayTJ): No chance, nobody can continue to win at that pace, but wow, what a run! But the lack of good sleep with a newborn has to catch up with him at some time, doesn’t it?  I’m really curious how he plays at Royal Troon. He hasn’t had as much success is The Open as other majors, so that will be interesting to see.  I’d say the over/under for wins the rest of the year is 1.5, and you won’t see me betting the under.

Hal Quinn, Freelance Writer, Vancouver: The money stats mean nothing — except his caddy Ted Scott leading 80 % of the Tour players with over $2.6 M made this year — because of the Saudi-inflated purses, but Scotty has the most World Golf Ranking points ever and he has more FedEx Cup pointes than #2 and #3 combined. Hard to imagine maintaining that pace. Doesn’t look like anyone — even Rory — is a truly legitimate rival, so it may take mental fatigue or injury (hopefully not) to stop him.

Peter Mumford, Fairways Magazine (@FairwaysMag): The man never makes a mistake, never makes a bad swing and always appears unflappable. Tough combination to beat. I’d wager he wins the Open Championship, the Tour Championship and the Olympic Gold Medal. They won’t need a vote for Player of the Year.

The PGA Tour moves on to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit this week and after three straight weeks of small fields with elite players, there won’t be many big names in the Motor City. That’s a complaint that many lower ranked tournament hosts are making. We’ve also seen that Jack Nicklaus wasn’t happy with the clustering of Signature events and majors in June and asked that his Memorial Tournament be returned to its former date in May. Lower ranked players are also frustrated that they can go several weeks in a row without any competition. In your opinion, have the Signature events worked as currently scheduled and if not, what should be done moving forward?

Deeks: Even though my interest in watching men’s golf has diminished in the last decade, I do miss the days of pre-LIV Tour, when the money being won wasn’t grossly obscene (just kinda obscene), and when “elite” players weren’t being favoured over the youngsters and the grinders — at least, not in the number of opportunities to ply their trade. Frankly, whether an event is a “Signature” or not has very little interest to me.  I do think the lower-ranked tournaments and non-elite players have very legitimate reasons to gripe.  And they can start by blaming Greg Norman for the disruption he’s created.

Schurman: Without a concerted effort, the PGA TOUR has designed a ‘two-tiered’ system. The players 71 to 125 have known for a long time they don’t count for as much as the top 70. The elevated concept is new and will take time to settle into a viable schedule. The move Nicklaus made is indicative of the future. All parties need to make input, and some will have to compromise. The Players’ Board is vital in these decisions. Currently, the TOUR is in the greed stage as the most influential wield their power but eventually, agreements will be reached and bliss will reign. Ha-ha.

Rule: I agree with Jack, the elevated events are too stacked, and it really hurts the other tourneys, including of course our event here in Canada.  I don’t think the schedule is working properly and they need to tweak it again, but don’t ask me what the answer is! Maybe work on unifying the top male players on one tour first.

Quinn: When the Tour upsets Jack, you know something is very wrong. And when friends, golf buddies, brothers and relatives don’t watch a moment of so-called “Signature” events, you know the pro game is close to being broken. While the Saudis may not need to be familiar with the term ‘Return on Investment’ [ROI] this mangled season will tell the Tour’s remaining sponsors all they need to know about their golf ROI and then they’ll try to explain it to shareholders. The Tour has to return to a reality-based schedule. The elite players may not like the gravy train leaving their station, but the majority of Tour members, sponsors, and possibly golf fans, will.

Mumford: The Signature Events are an abomination. They certainly benefit the Top 50 but how many of those guys were in danger of jumping to LIV Golf anyway? As for the rest of the PGA Tour stakeholders, second-tier tournament sponsors have been dealt a nasty blow and are pissed off, lower ranked players are frustrated and calling for Jay Monahan’s head, while fans are trying to deal with too many so-called “must watch” big money events jammed too close together. The majors bring the best players in the world together four times a year. They’re special for many reasons, not the least of which is they’re rare. Do we really need more than four?

Following Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the U.S. Open, lots of conjecture about the strength of LIV Golf. Not that it’s likely ever to happen but in your opinion, who would win a Ryder Cup style competition between the top 12 PGA Tour players and the top 12 LIV golfers?

Deeks: As I look over the list of Top 12 LIV players this year, I snicker loudly.  Dean Burmester, No. 4 (yo, Dean!).  Sergio Garcia, No. 8 (remember him?).  Carlos Ortiz, No. 9 (isn’t he a tennis player?).   Dustin Johnson, No. 12 (sniff).  Then I look at the top dozen PGA Tour players and I think, “No comparison, a far stronger field”.  So, in a LIV-PGA match, my guess would be PGA 20 – LIV 8.

Schurman: I’m not a fan of these hypothetical discussions. I enjoy the Ryder Cup and as I’ve said thousands of times, I think the President’s Cup should include LPGA players. If a new event were to happen, where would it fit? However, back to the question. Currently, the PGA TOUR would romp all over the LIV guys because most of the PGA guys are still angry with the LIV guys. The LIV guys would try hard but they don’t hate anybody, and it would be a nice week off playing golf with friends and being treated wonderfully.

Rule: It would be a heck of a competition, and with Bryson, Rahm, Cam Smith, et al, they may have a better top end, but the depth of the PGA Tour would show up and they would take the event in the end.

Quinn: Let the multi-multi-millionaires live in their blaring music, invasive drone, 54-hole fantasy world. They don’t deserve a larger stage.

Mumford: If Captain Mickelson has 12 picks against Captain Woods, his top six are dead even against the PGA Tour. Four of them (Rahm, DeChambeau, Koepka and Smith) own four of the last eight majors. The second six includes major winners a bit past their prime along with a couple of young hot-shots – very strong players but not as good as the PGA Tour second six. On paper then, the edge goes to the PGA Tour, but Captain Mickelson could be a wild card in the matches. Too bad he’ll never get the chance to captain a real Ryder Cup team.

Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. He's played over 500 different courses in 21 countries and met some fascinating people along the way. He's also a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

2 thoughts on “The Round Table: Scottie Scheffler is on a historic roll

  1. Scotty and Byron Nelson records are similar, WWII and LIV….
    Signature events really suck, need full fields and less money, and tougher course setups .

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