In the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021 Masters, Spieth beat or tied 447 of 453 competitors (98.7%). He somehow has one green jacket. I won’t bet against him at Augusta National until he’s hitting the ceremonial tee shot, but his recent record on the PGA Tour is neither encouraging nor anywhere close to where it was this time a year ago. However, he did offer this thimble of hope on Sunday in San Antonio.
It remains strange that McIlroy’s closest call (from a leaderboard standpoint) remains Jordan Spieth’s greatest romp back in 2015. This year’s hype for his career slam is as quiet as I can remember, and it runs deeper than that. McIlroy is one of a handful of golfers who have been hitting the ball better than pretty much everybody else in the world, but he’s been a bit of an afterthought. That might not mean much, but it does have the feel of Tiger in 2019 when he was hitting it great but didn’t have the results. Conclusion: I’m fascinated.
Over his last 50 rounds following the WGC-Dell Match Play, D.J.’s strokes gained tee to green numbers were below Adam Hadwin, C.T. Pan and Martin Laird. He played well at Austin Country Club, but a lot of that was due to a putter that’s been smoking for a while now. D.J. is one of the handful of players in this field that can flip a switch week over week, but his trajectory has not been one that has indicated that a major win is coming (of course, neither was Hideki Matsuyama’s last year, and we saw how that went).metasports
It feels foolish to have the No. 1 player in the world this low, but Scheffler is not your normal No. 1 player in the world. His rise from No. 14 to No. 1 happened in the span of six weeks, which means his golf has been scorching but he might not have long-term staying power at that spot. Regardless, he’s been good at major championships. Each of his last six starts has been a top 20 and four of them have been inside the top eight. The match play event felt a bit like a culmination of his run, but perhaps the ride has one more apex.
Put him on the list of folks who got shook early in his career by feeling like he need to deviate from what he does best (which is hit flush-flush 2-yard fades on repeat for however long you want him to do so). It will likely come down to whether he’s having a hot putting week. Eight times he’s gained 3.6 strokes or more for an event with his putter, and all eight are top-five finishes (three of them are wins).