NCAA Football

Behind the numbers: Scottie Scheffler

The race reached its peak when he won the Masters Tournament two weeks later. Scheffler excelled on the way to his first big win, ranking in the top 10 on the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Approach and Around the Green. He was in the top 10 in Strokes Gained: Putting, too, until his four-putt on the final green. Scheffler now had four wins for the season, the first green jacket winner to reach that number on the PGA TOUR since Arnold Palmer in 1960.

What fueled your rise

Scheffler was well above average in the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season, ranking 32nd in scoring average and 33rd in Strokes Gained: Total. Its incandescent spring of 22 was due to some dramatic improvements. Scheffler ranked 45th in regulation greens and 83rd in Strokes Gained: Approach per Round in 2020-21. Solid, but not spectacular. By late May, he had jumped to 13th in SG: Approach and a 3rd in batting rate from greens.

Its improved wedge game was also a significant change. In 2020-21, Scheffler ranked 157th on the PGA TOUR at average hole proximity from 50 to 125 yards away. On June 1, he climbed exactly 100 places in that statistic – to 57th. The spread meant he went from a foot farther than the average PGA TOUR player’s approach to that range – to a foot closer.

As if those improvements weren’t enough, he also improved on the greens. In each of his first two full seasons on the TOUR, Scheffler hovered around the statistical baseline for Strokes Gained: Putting between qualified players. He was at -0.05 strokes per round in 2020 and +0.02 in 2021. But in his 10 games from February to May, Scheffler won more than half a field stroke per round on the greens. In his win at Phoenix, Scheffler placed 2nd in Strokes Gained: Putting, one of only three times in his entire career on the PGA TOUR where he placed in the top 10 in a tournament field by that statistic.

The story since then

Scheffler hasn’t kept up the pace he enjoyed in the spring, but he still recorded four top 10 results in his last 10 matches. And he improved by a big score. From February to May, he averaged 1.32 Strokes Gained: Ball Striking per round and hit 70.9% of his greens in regulation. Since then, he has averaged 1.70 strokes per round and hit 74.1% of the greens in regulation.

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