Scottie Scheffler Survives Tough First Round Conditions to Stay in Contention at PGA Championship
It certainly wasn’t the opening Scottie Scheffler would have liked at the PGA Championship, but with a slippery par-save on the 18th hole, he’s left himself with a decent shot to get back into this Championship on Friday.
Scheffler, who has four victories to his name already this season — including the Masters — shot a 1-over 71 on Thursday afternoon in tough conditions.
His round got off to a great start with an eagle on the beastly par-5 5th, which measured 665 yards on Thursday. Scheffler ripped a 3-wood from 307 yards to just 10 feet.
“I hit two fantastic golf shots,” said Scheffler of his effort on No.5. “I held a driver against the wind off the tee and then drew a 3-wood in there and I ran it up to the front part of the green. It was just two great shots, especially the 3-wood, and then a great putt.”
Scheffler added birdies on Nos. 10 and 15, but made bogey on Nos. 12 and 13 and then again he added squares on his scorecard on 16 and 17.
He said as the day went on the conditions became increasingly more difficult.
“Definitely got windier as the day went on. The greens get a little more chewed up. I missed a short putt I think on 12. Which I really didn’t make a terrible stroke on, just kind of hopped off-line. That’s the things you’re going to get,” said Scheffler. “Today was windy so the course was challenging, and I didn’t keep myself in position on the back nine and paid the price for it.”
Scheffler lost his tee ball on the 18th hole but scrambled well for a closing par. He said that score would “definitely” make his dinner taste good.
“Bogeying the last three is definitely not very fun, so it was good to make that par at the end,” he said. “I’m still pretty frustrated with how I played the back nine, but overall, 1-over par playing as poorly as I did is not... I didn’t shoot myself out of the tournament. I’m still in OK position.”
Scheffler sits six shots back of Rory McIlroy’s lead through 18 holes. He’s looking to become the eighth men’s golfer in history to win the first two majors of the year.
He has finished inside the top-10 at the PGA Championship the past two years and says there’s “still a lot of golf” left to play as he looks to chip away at McIlroy’s lead.
Despite a back-nine stumble, Scheffler is eager to get back out to Southern Hills Country Club Friday morning.
“I’m definitely a lot further back than I had hoped to be,” admitted Scheffler, “but at the end of the day... this is one of those golf courses where you could have a really great round and so for me just kind of taking what the weather is going to give us tomorrow morning and go from there.”
Scheffler is hoping where he’ll go is up the leaderboard.