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Houston Open: Scottie Scheffler 11/4 for hat-trick of PGA TOUR titles

Ahead of this week’s Houston Open, Scottie Scheffler has been priced up at 11/4 to make it a hat-trick of PGA TOUR titles.

bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “It might be a bit too soon to start to be talking about Scheffler heading into ‘Tiger Territory’, but there are bound to be some comparisons.

“The office debate surrounded Scheffler’s opening price for the Houston Open and we obviously weren’t short enough because punters quickly gobbled up our opening showing of 7/2.

“He’s already been backed from 9/1 into 9/2 for the Masters and 200/1 into 66/1 to land all four Majors in the calendar year – something that Woods never managed to do.”


At first glance it seems ludicrous to compare anyone to Woods, especially a player with just one major to his name, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers Scheffler’s putting up.

Last season, he averaged 2.61 strokes gained: tee to green, which is the second best season (behind Woods’ 2006 season where he averaged 2.98) since strokes gained numbers were recorded in 2003.

Of course, what set Woods apart was his putting. As well as being one of the longest hitters on tour and the best iron player, Woods frequently ranked amongst the best putters in the world. Think back to 2015 when Jordan Spieth seemed to hole everything on his way to two majors and three more PGA TOUR wins. Combine that putting with Scheffler’s ball striking and you’ve got Tiger Woods.

But after a dismal 2023 with the flatstick – Scheffler ranked 162nd out of 193 golfers who played a PGA TOUR event last year in SG: Putting – his woes on the green may be behind him.

Since Rory McIlroy made what might have been the most misguided comment in sporting history, advising Scheffler to use a mallet putter, Scheffler has won back-to-back Signature Events, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (where he ranked fifth in SG: Putting) and THE PLAYERS Championship (where he ranked 37th in SG: Putting).

When asked what separated him from his colleagues, Scheffler felt it was his distance control; the ability, no matter what yardage he has, to land pin high and leave himself a putt.

Even at last year’s PLAYERS, Scheffler just about broke even on the greens, ranking 48th in putting, yet still won by a ridiculous five shots, largely thanks to that ultra-reliable iron play.

The Texan has been imperious to start the season as we approach the majors, with 27 straight rounds under par dating back to last August, and in 31 rounds of golf since the Ryder Cup, 25 have been in the 60s.

It’s what makes Scheffler such an intimidating opponent for the rest of the chasing pack. Even on his off days he’s better than most. He’s rarely out of position off the tee and almost never makes a mistake with his irons. His putting has held him back over the last 12 months, but even while being held back he was finishing in the top 10 of almost every event he entered.

Although Scheffler at 27 is still young and has plenty of time on his side, it’s remarkable to think he’s still only on one major.

That feels likely to change this year, with the World No.1 surely having looks at all four of the majors, starting at Augusta.

Golf is a cruel and fickle game, where even the very best can go lengthy periods of time without winning. Even at his very best, Woods ‘only’ won around half of the events he entered, but even with that in mind, Scheffler’s developed a robotic quality where nothing seems to bother him. He’s becoming golf’s version of Novak Djokovic: unrelenting, unflappable, and almost boringly consistent.

The only thing he needs now is more silverware, and although it’s odds-against at 6/5 for Scheffler to win at least one major, it feels like just one in 2024 would be a disappointment.

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