Rewind a few months to November of last year, and Scottie Scheffler was searching for the hidden piece of the puzzle.
The 25-year-old was one of the top players in the world, but still lacked the one thing every player craves: a victory on the PGA Tour.
Now, coming into the US PGA Championship, Scheffler is a four-time PGA Tour winner, the world No. 1 by quite a distance, and, of course, the Masters champion. No surprise then, that he is also the favourite to lift the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening.
So, what changed? Fellow PGA Tour player Austin Smotherman has a pretty solid theory. Smotherman, who is featured in the latest edition of bunkered, played the final round of the RSM Classic with Scheffler back in November, and reckons his partnership with caddie Ted Scott is the key to his red-hot form.
When asked if Smotherman could sense an upturn in Scheffler’s form coming after that week, this is what he had to say:
“Not to that extreme," he told bunkered.co.uk.
“The thing I noticed about Scottie and Ted that week was their focus on the range. They kind of created this little bubble. You could tell how kind of engaged they were with each other.”
That day at the RSM Classic, it was Smotherman who came out on top, shooting a 66 to Scheffler’s 68, but he noticed the focus from Scheffler and Scott that week, even on the practice area. Scheffler finished in a tie for 57th that week, but that included a first-round 63.
“Certain guys are on the range and you feel like you can have a conversation with them. But when you walk past Scottie and Ted, you can tell not to bother them because they’re getting work done.
“I would kind of compare it to walking into a gym and LeBron James being there taking shots. You can tell he’s so engaged, you’re probably not going to bother him.”
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