Tired of his Crazy Friday, Scottie Scheffler broke down during the third round of the PGA Championship

Tired of his Crazy Friday, Scottie Scheffler broke down during the third round of the PGA Championship
Tired of his Crazy Friday, Scottie Scheffler broke down during the third round of the PGA Championship

In the fog. All of Valhalla found itself immersed in it at the dawn of this third round, so much so that the organizers had to delay the departures and launch games of three, from hole 1 but also from 10, in the hope of completing the day without delay.

Scottie Scheffler seemed to get lost in the fog as he rarely did, constantly fighting against swings in intensity and precision. Winner of four of the last five tournaments he has participated in (Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Players, Masters and RBC Heritage), the cyborg is ultimately human and slightly vulnerable. Reassuring.

The American remained for 42 rounds without being defeated by the course (41 under par and a Friday without bonus or penalty during the Augusta Masters). Series ended and record preserved by Tiger Woods (52 between 2000 and 2001).

Very average in the long game (11/18 greens in regulation) and abandoned by his short game, putting included, Scottie Scheffler paid for the influx left during his crazy day of Friday, started in prison after, according to his version, a misunderstanding with a police officer who believed that the world No. 1 wanted to bypass a roadblock after a fatal traffic accident preventing all access to the course. Investigation in progress.

On the nerves and after a brief warm-up, Scheffler once again dazzled the circuit by shooting a 66 in these improbable conditions. Flanked this Saturday by Thomas Detry and Mark Hubbard as playing partners, the American played yo-yo more than darts. At 2, a dropped drive to the left first forced him to try twice to get out of an ultra-thick, sloping rough at the edge of the green. An ultimately long outing, two putts, double bogey.

At 3, he took three putts, first bogey. At 4, he took the risk of attacking the par 4 with the driver. Another drop to the left in the penalty zone, a scratch with the wedge, new bogey. Four strokes conceded on the course in four holes, a clear drop in the ranking (35th to -5), seven lengths behind the then leader (Xander Schauffele) and one more stone in the shoe of the week, already largely filled .

“Priority to family and that also applies to my shopping cart”

Beyond the backlash of an improbable Friday, it’s difficult not to also blame this shaky start to the absence of Ted Scott, his miracle caddy since 2022 with whom Scheffler has stacked ten PGA trophies, including two Majors, and reached to global leadership.

After his 2nd round, Scottie Scheffler anticipated the departure of his favorite crutch, who left to attend his daughter’s high school graduation: This is something we defined at the beginning of our relationship with Ted: family first. This is as valid for him as it is for me. We knew the date of this ceremony since the beginning of the year, I anticipated it by asking Brad Payne, the PGA chaplain, one of my best friends on the circuit (with whom he was in college), for being by my side this Saturday. »

A record of +3 on the way out

After this diesel start and an attitude aligned with this quest for sensations (step slow, head down), Scottie Scheffler nevertheless reacted. Clean birdie at 5, slide out of bunker to get “given” at 7 and kiss. An enchanted parenthesis. And then, it broke down again at 8, as if the nervous fatigue accumulated over 36 hours had become the absolute obstacle to permanent concentration. His record for the first leg (+3) attested to this.

A magical bunker exit at 10 put his head back a little, the birdie being validated to begin the return. Only inconstancy caught up with him (bogey 11, birdie 13) and he could not control his annoyance at 14 after a putt for par which never saw the hole.

Fatalist, he finished with a slightly tense smile as he went up the fairway of the 18th and was rewarded with a final birdie after a tricky bunker exit. Small consolation: I had a very complicated day. Every time I made birdie, I made bogey behind. It’s a bit frustrating. This has nothing to do with my recent fatherhood. I rather paid for what happened yesterday (Friday). This (SATURDAY) morning, it wasn’t that. » In the afternoon, neither.



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