Scottie Scheffler superlatives run dry, makes RBC Heritage look easy

Scottie Scheffler continues to pull rabbits out of hats, producing magic not seen on the PGA Tour since prime Tiger Woods.

Scheffler signed for an 8-under 63 Saturday at the RBC Heritage, soaring up the leaderboard and into the lead. He carded his 39th straight round at even-par or better, the second-longest streak seen on tour since 1983. Only Woods has bested that mark with 52 such rounds in 2000 and 2001, when he completed the famed ‘Tiger Slam’ by winning four straight major championships.

Speaking of majors, Scheffler arrived in Hilton Head “emotionally drained” after his historic win at Augusta National last week, and understandably so. As such, Scheffler maintained a low profile, practiced on the range after his arrival Tuesday, and played the back nine during Wednesday’s pro-am. He then said he would see the front nine on Thursday morning and go from there.

He did not get off to a great start on Thursday, making a double on the par-4 3rd hole. But he did salvage that mistake with two birdies on the front.

Scottie Scheffler, RBC Heritage

Scottie Scheffler hits an approach shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Scheffler closed his opening round with two birdies on 16 and 17 to shoot a 2-under 69. Then, on Friday, the two-time Masters winner carded a 5-under 66 to get into the mix, but nothing could compare to what Scheffler did Saturday.

“I felt like my ball-striking was really good today. Hit a lot of greens,” Scheffler said after his masterful third round.

“I played the par-5s well. The par-3s were very challenging, and I played them really well. Overall, it was a good effort. I’m proud of my score today.”

Amazingly, Scheffler has not dropped a shot since that third hole early Thursday morning. But the world’s top-ranked player knows that may not persist through Sunday’s final round.

“[Sunday] is going to be challenging,” Scheffler added.

“We’re going to get a different wind tomorrow, so the golf course will play pretty different. It’s something that we’ll adjust to tonight, kind of get in the right headspace. Go out tomorrow and try our best to stay patient and execute.”

Like his golf game, Scheffler’s mindset continues to amaze everyone in the golf world. His ability to stay patient, remain focused, and not lose sight of the task at hand are just further reasons why Scheffler has received comparisons to Woods.

His comments about his approach going into Sunday exacerbates that point further.

“We’ll see where everything shakes out. The guys behind me still have some holes to play, but we’ll see; either way, I’ll be in a decent position going into tomorrow,” Scheffler assessed.

“Just looking to go out and get off to a good start. On this golf course, you can shoot some low scores if you’re hitting it well and placing the ball in the right areas, so that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow.”

He looked like a master tactician on Saturday, carving up Harbour Town Golf Links by putting his golf ball in the perfect places. No wonder why he made eight birdies and 10 pars, making it look easy in the process.

But Scheffler has made this frustrating sport look so effortless over the past few months, and now he has a chance to do something that only one other person has: win The Masters and the RBC Heritage in back-to-back weeks. Bernhard Langer did so in 1985.

Now, Scheffler has a tremendous opportunity to go from winning a Green Jacket to a plaid one, further asserting himself as the game’s most dominant player. He has the mentality to do so, too, and he surely will enter the final round with a massive target on his back.

Yet, other players will fear his presence, too, just like all of those not named Tiger Woods throughout the early 2000s.

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.

This post was originally published on this site