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RBC Heritage

Scottie Scheffler finishes the job at RBC Heritage. Here's how to put his 10th career PGA Tour win in perspective

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Andrew Redington

April 22, 2024

Add this arcane bit of knowledge to the list of superlatives you've already heard about Scottie Scheffler: From his first win on the PGA Tour to his 10th, he needed just 50 starts, which is faster than a relative slowpoke named Tiger Woods. He unlocked that achievement on Monday morning at the weather-delayed RBC Heritage, playing the final three holes in one over—including a safe bogey on 18, which was his first hole over par since the second hole on Thursday—to secure his latest win in a stretch so scintillating that it's becoming harder and harder to describe.

How about this: He's the first player since Bernhard Langer in 1985 to win the Masters and then win the following week. He’s also the first since Woods in 2006 (PGA Championship, WGC-Bridgestone) to win the week after any major victory. That may sound like a musty historical stat without much meaning, until you start to understand the mental strength it signifies. Winning a major is supposed to be a mentally taxing event, particularly at the end of a stretch of big wins like Scheffler had pulled off, from Bay Hill to the Players. On Thursday, when he made his double bogey on the second, it seemed like he may be experiencing a hangover at long last. Instead, he put the mistake in the past, torched Harbour Town for a 65 and 63 on Friday and Saturday, and then cruised to a 68 in his interrupted final round, winning by a comfortable three-shot margin.

Forget his actual physical ability; this guy is a psychological fortress.

"I think mentally the last month or so has been as good as I've been in a long time," he said after he finished on Monday. "And I think that's why I'm seeing some of the results, just staying in it doing the best I can...a lot of that stuff is easier said than done, but I'm proud of how I've been mentally the last bit."

He has become such a consummate winner that he didn't even need his "usual prep work" heading into the Heritage; he had plenty of fuel in the tank to eventually lap the rest of the field. That's what happens when you lead everyone in two separate Strokes Gained categories—off the tee and approach—and stay above average in putting, aka the patented Scheffler Victory Formula.

About that field … there was some terrific golf being played, even though so much of it felt irrelevant in Scheffler's shadow. It wasn't irrelevant; at least not to them. Sahith Theegala, bunched up with several others at 15 under at the start of the morning, came out and made a critical birdie on 16 to separate himself from the pack and secure a solo second-place finish. J.T. Poston went the other way after opting to wait to finish the 18th on Sunday night; he missed a five-footer for par on the green, and dropped to 14 under, leaving Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark in a tie for third at 15 under. Poston finished in a tie for fifth with Justin Thomas, Patrick Rodgers, and Scheffler's final round partner Sepp Straka.

But Scheffler once again towered over them all, and perhaps the only man higher than him all week was his caddie Ted Scott, who was literally higher when he leaped into the air on the 18th green expecting a chest bump from Scheffler, only for his player to stay planted to the ground, watching him with a mystified grin. Scott should recover easily from this temporary embarrassment; if you assume normal pay rates, Digest's Jamie Kennedy calculated that he's made more than Rory McIlroy this year.

Those are the perks of working with the best player in the world—a title that, nice as it sounds, might not be descriptive enough for what Scheffler has accomplished. At age 27, on the verge of being a father, he's somehow surpassed merely being first among contemporaries; at this point, it's no longer controversial to argue that he's the best we've seen since Woods himself.