If sports fans didn’t know much about up-and-coming PGA Tour player Scottie Scheffler before the weekend, they do now. Sunday’s NBC telecast of the final match of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play gave them a four-hour look at the 25-year-old native of Ridgewood, New Jersey.
The prudent bet would be to expect many future hours of TV time for Scheffler playing in the final groups of golfers of the day, and he can thank Tiger Woods’ discriminating taste in golf clubs for some of that success.
Scottie Scheffler has risen to weekly contender status quickly
Without a doubt, Scottie Scheffler has become the breakout performer of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season. Though he compiled the type of amateur resume indicative of future stardom, he recently roared to the front seemingly all at once.
The 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and University of Texas star announced himself as the real thing last year by finishing in the top 10 at the PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and British Open. Now, though, he’s collecting winners’ checks by the fistful. Scheffler won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in mid-February, the Arnold Palmer Invitational to kick off March, and then the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday with a 4-and-3 triumph against Kevin Kisner.
He has climbed to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings and climbed from 12th at the end of last year to fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Scottie Scheffler has been playing with clubs made for Tiger Woods
Scottie Scheffler didn’t have a clubs endorsement deal, but he was destined to align with equipment manufacturer TaylorMade. They finally struck a deal shortly before he struggled to a tie for 55th at The Players Championship on March 10. TaylorMade is one of the big names in the industry with a stable of golfers that has included Tiger Woods since 2017, and Scheffler already favored TaylorMade clubs.
According to PGATour.com, Scheffler began using P-7TW irons last year, which coincided with his move from middle-of-the-pack competitor to leaderboard material in the majors. The “TW” in the name of the line of irons is a tip of the cap to Woods, who worked on them with TaylorMade’s engineers.
The significance is that those were the clubs Woods used when he won The Masters Tournament in 2019, coming back from two strokes down through 54 holes to beat Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Xander Schauffele by one shot.
He has won three of his last five tournaments
Scottie Scheffler will climb past Jon Rahm to No. 1 in the next set of world rankings after his 4-and-3 victory over Kevin Kisner in the title match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas, a course he played as a member of the Longhorns’ perennially powerful NCAA squad.
Scheffler lost the 2021 championship match to Billy Horschel, but he finished the job this time around, never trailing in the semifinal against Dustin Johnson or against Kisner. The final proved largely anticlimactic as Scheffler built a 3-up lead through just six holes and closed out the match with a par at No. 15.
Earlier in the day, Scheffler went 5-up through 11 holes against Johnson. However, Johnson rallied to take the next four holes before finally missing a four-foot putt at No. 17 to end the match.
Kisner played his way into the final with a 1-up win over Corey Conners.