Scottie Scheffler’s dominance during the first half of the PGA Tour season flew under the radar on a trip to the top

How well is Scotty Scheffler doing so far in 2022? There are a thousand ways to gauge the answer to that question, but with the 2021-22 season now barely more than half over, what he’s already accomplished appears to be understated in some way. Schaeffler made his first solo debut since winning the Masters in April of this week when at AT&T Byron Nelson (he took part in the Zurich Classic shortly after the Masters, a team event), and there will be a lot of fanfare. But perhaps not enough given how dominant Schaeffler has been since January 1.

from where we start? How about this statistic: Schaeffler has earned four rounds of the PGA Tour this calendar year, which is just one less than the rest of the world’s top 10 players sum. Or this: He’s earned $10.1 million so far this season, which would be the sixth-biggest single-season earnings in PGA Tour history with nearly double-digit mega-money events.

Schaeffler so thoroughly dominated his competition by winning four times in nine events that he surpassed his fourth, third and second place finishes, jumping straight from fifth to No. 1 in the world after winning the WGC-Dell title. Match Techniques Play before the Masters. The gap in the official world rankings between him and 9th seed Jordan Spieth is the same between Spieth and No. 223 Mattie Schmid of Germany.

Consider his dominance at the top of the golf world, too. There were seven events worldwide this year where the field strength was at least 500. Schaeffler won four of those events: Masters, Match Play, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Phoenix Open. He’s had more wins in the last three months than Justin Thomas, Xander Shaveli, Daniel Berger, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Tony Fino have in the last two and a half years (since the start of 2020).

It’s not pure old school domination either. The statistical profile supporting what Schaeffler did on the golf course was amazing. He gains 2.82 strokes per round, according to Data Golf, when no one else in the world is even 2.5, and only seven golfers are over 2.0. The Scheffler has been a perfect full-stroke per round better than all but eight golfers and two-stroke better than most professional golfers on the planet.

It’s been a truly exceptional season, and he just might continue to improve. Schaeffler won the 2015 Big 12 singles championship at Southern Hills, fully qualified to continue his major championship dominance. He extends beyond his green jacket only in April, too. In his last seven major starts, Schaeffler has finished in the top 20 out of all seven and in the top 10 out of all five. He’s a huge talent who is seen as a huge talent because now he’s just cracking through on victories.

At 25, I don’t know what direction Schaeffler’s career will take. I know he is fine enough to handle the emotional roller coaster of a professional golfer for an extended period of time and has the inherent talent in the top ten (or above) for extended periods of time.

How things go the rest of this year is somewhat irrelevant. Schaeffler will almost certainly be this year’s PGA Tour player of the year given what he’s already accomplished, and there’s a path all this could take as it pulls together one of the great seasons in recent PGA Tour history (a division other than Tiger Woods). Despite the fact that he was running on this huge heater, I’m not sure the average golf fan is fully aware that all of this is happening.

The percentage of world-class pitches that Schaeffler has defeated (again, 40% of the top 10) is downright ridiculous, and given the way he did (elite tee-to-green complimented by a great short game, not the other on the road), should Being the favorite in every event he plays from here until the end of 2022. However, I doubt that will be the case, which tells you everything you need to know about the year of the Schaeffler and how it is perceived. As good as he has been all along and as good as he would have expected, there is a feeling within golf that what Schaeffler is doing is not being looked at right.

Scotty Scheffler is the best golfer in the world, literally and figuratively. I’m not sure everyone has realized that yet.

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