Connect with us

Scottie Scheffler maintains top spot with Collin Morikawa in contention

Deporte

Scottie Scheffler maintains top spot with Collin Morikawa in contention


The third round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament was all about what Scottie Scheffler did, what he failed to do, and ultimately, what he did once again as he holds a four-shot lead over Adam Hadwin, Collin Morikawa and Sepp Straka entering the final 18 holes of play at Muirfield Village. After a speed bump at the PGA Championship, Scheffler is back in a groove continuing to play the best golf that’s been seen since Tiger Woods’ prime.

Already a four-time winner this season, Scheffler is a massive favorite to become the first player since Justin Thomas in 2017 to win five times in a year. It looked for a while in Round 3 like that chance might slip away, but Scheffler did what Scheffler always does and closed out the round with a flurry of birdies to solidify his hold on the tournament going into the last 18 holes.

Let’s take a look at his up and down day and what to expect from the chasers going into Sunday.

The leader

1. Scottie Scheffler (-10): After he birdied two of the first three holes, it looked like it might be another runaway victory for Scheffler. However, a wild triple bogey at the 9th hole — including an out-of-bounds tee shot and five more shots on his second drive — brought the entire field back into play. At that point, Scheffler fell back into a tie for second with Adam Hadwin.

Unsurprisingly, he birdied two of his next three and had three circles overall on the back nine to make back all of the ground he lost on that 9th hole. Why is this unsurprising? Well, this is what Scheffler does. On the year, he ranks No. 1 on the PGA Tour in bounce back, which is when a player makes a birdie or better following a bogey or worse. His rate on this is a stunning 38%, which is over 5% better than anyone else and nearly 17% better than PGA Tour average. 

This is part of why he’s so difficult to defeat. Not only is he the best in the field (and the world) from tee to green and with his approach play, and not only does he almost never make a course management mistake. But when he does have a mishap like he did off the 9th tee, he’s mentally tough enough not only to respond but to erase everything what happened on that bad hole.

That is an extraordinary gift for somebody who has a lot of them and one of the many reasons he’s currently the -600 favorite to win on Sunday afternoon at Muirfield Village.

What’s at stake for Scottie?

There are a number of fairly crazy accomplishments on the table for the No. 1 player in the world, including (but not limited to the following), all of which would be accomplished with a victory. 

  • First player since Thomas in 2017 to win five times on the PGA Tour in a season
  • Break the record for money earned in a PGA Tour season ($21 million)
  • Would be the fastest to reach five wins in a PGA Tour season since Tom Watson in 1980

He’s also out-pacing some of the biggest names in the sport right now by a wide margin.

Contenders

T2. Collin Morikawa, Sepp Straka, Adam Hadwin (-6)
T5. Xander Schauffele, Ludvig Aberg (-4)

It’s a hitters-only situation at Muirfield Village this week. Unfortunately for this crew, the best hitter on the planet is at least four clear of them all. Morikawa joins Scheffler in the final pairing, a remix of their Masters final pairing six weeks ago. He’s probably the most likely out of this group to win the tournament, but he’s going to face a similar problem as everyone else.

That problem? Scheffler is perhaps the best course manager in the world. And on a day when he only needs to shoot 71 to win, he’s probably going to reduce his risk taking, which makes it even more likely that he shoots 71 to win (and we’re already talking about somebody who has just one round worse than 72 so far this season). 

Still, it’s notable that three of these players (Morikawa, Straka, Hadwin) are all in the top five in strokes gained tee to green this week. It’s unlikely that all three of them fade, but it could take something extraordinary in the final round to catch the No. 1 player in the world.

2024 Memorial Tournament updated odds, picks

  • Scottie Scheffler: 2/9
  • Collin Morikawa: 11-1
  • Sepp Straka: 18-1
  • Adam Hadwin: 28-1
  • Xander Schauffele: 30-1
  • Ludvig Aberg: 45-1

There are no good choices here. I guess if I have to pick somebody that’s not Scheffler, I’m going with Morikawa at 11-1. He has a victory at Muirfield Village — albeit not at the Memorial — and is somewhat quietly playing tremendous golf with six straight top 25s (including two major championships).



Source link

More in Deporte

A2Z ADMINISTRATION

AD

To Top