Former Scots standout navigates odd year but misses U.S. Open after COVID-19 diagnosis
While most of us are ready for 2020 to end, Scottie Scheffler might want this year to keep going.
The former Highland Park golf standout managed a terrific season and was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, an award voted upon by his peers.
Coincidentally, the recognition came just one day after Scheffler had to withdraw from the U.S. Open because of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. But that registers as a minor setback amid an otherwise stellar campaign.
Scheffler, 24, raised his game level to match the best in the world and navigated a year of unprecedented health challenges and schedule shuffling with the savvy of a tour veteran.
“I would have liked to have had a win, but i feel like that’s coming on the horizon.”Scottie Scheffler
“I feel like I had a really solid rookie season. If you would have told me that would have been my results going in, I would have been pleased,” Scheffler said. “I would have liked to have had a win, but I feel like that’s coming on the horizon. My game feels like it’s in a good spot for sure.”
He posted three top-10 finishes in the first half of the season, then struggled when play resumed after a three-month pandemic-related hiatus. Then in August, he became a household name.
Scheffler tied for fourth during his first appearance at the PGA Championship, playing in the final group on Sunday.
Two weeks later, at a tour playoff event in Boston, Scheffler became just the 11th player in history to record a competitive round of 59. His second-round card featured 12 birdies and no bogeys.
Flash forward another two weeks, and Scheffler came in fifth at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, progressively lowering his score during each of the four rounds in the season finale.
“It definitely stunk sitting at home all week and watching the U.S. Open, especially the way I was playing leading into it. I felt I had a chance of winning,” Scheffler said. “It’s the world we live in. I felt OK, and came out on the other side recovered.”
Now healthy and still seeking his first tour victory, Scheffler will turn his attention to his first Masters appearance beginning Nov. 12. The event was rescheduled after being postponed in April, and for Scheffler, the timing probably couldn’t be better.
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