Scottie Scheffler looks like himself at Travelers Championship after frustrating U.S. Open

CROMWELL, Conn. — The World No. 1 looked like the best player on the planet again at the Travelers Championship on Thursday.

Scottie Scheffler, fresh off a surprising T-41 at the U.S. Open, carded a 5-under 65 during the first round of the final Signature Event of the season. He had control of his swing once again and holed plenty of putts, much like he did during his five wins.

“I feel like I hit it nice,” Scheffler assessed.

“Found some swings, or found some stuff in my swing at the beginning of the week, and definitely feel like I’m swinging a lot better than I did last week.”

Scottie Scheffler, Travelers Championship

Scottie Scheffler plays the 3rd hole during the first round of the 2024 Travelers Championship.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Scheffler did not record a single under-par round at Pinehurst No. 2, a week he called “frustrating.” Thursday’s 65 in Connecticut is his first-under-par score since the third round of the Memorial Tournament when he shot a 1-under 71.

“I struggled to see the break on the greens last week. I had a hard time finding the right line,” Scheffler explained.

“I felt like I hit a lot of good putts that came off the way I wanted to, and I looked up, but they were just not even really close to going in at times. So that can always be a bit frustrating, but it’s nice to get here on some familiar surfaces and hit some good putts and see some balls go in.”

Scheffler gained two strokes on the greens on Thursday, ranking 9th in the field. Meanwhile, Scheffler lost 1.51 strokes to the field last week with his putter, which was good for 70th of 74 players who made the cut.

Of course, Scheffler switched to a mallet putter ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he then won. Since that change, Scheffler has added four more victories, and his putting has improved immensely since the beginning of the season.

Look no further than early Thursday, when the top-ranked player in the world poured in three straight birdies over his first four holes. He made a 19-footer at the par-4 2nd, a 13-footer at the 3rd, and then, at the challenging par-4 4th, Scheffler drained a birdie try from 16 feet. He also made an eagle on the par-5 13th, thanks to a spectacular approach from 256 yards out that landed eight feet away.

“I hit two really great shots in there to give myself a look,” Scheffler said of the 13th.

“Then I got a nice read off Max [Homa’s] putt and was able to knock that in.”

Scheffler added another birdie at the par-4 14th, which got him to 5-under for the day. He failed to capitalize on a good tee shot at the drivable par-4 15th, finishing with four straight pars.

The reigning Masters champion struggled to save par last week in North Carolina, but now he has no issues making par this week. That should intimidate the rest of the field, as Scheffler looks back to being the best after an off week at the U.S. Open.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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