Connect with us

Golf

2024 PGA Tour: Scottie Scheffler Bags His Fifth Win at Memorial Tournament

Published

on

/ 7207 Views

Three bogeys to the lone birdie on Sunday, June 9, of the 2024 Memorial Tournament — this win wasn’t in sync with Scottie Scheffler’s overwhelming dominance on the PGA Tour this season.

The overnight four-stroke lead whittled down to the lone shot, with credit going to Collin Morikawa for testing the World No 1. But what helped Scheffler weather Morikawa’s charge was a happening on the 18th green of the Muirfield Village in 2021.

It was a pressure-cooker situation, and Scheffler was under the gun with a putt that could have put him into a playoff. He blinked, and the opportunity passed him by. The Sunday just gone by was similar with Scheffler up with another clutch putt.

Holing it meant glory, and a miss would have been a playoff with Morikawa.

Breaking down Scottie Scheffler’s victory at the 2024 Memorial Tournament

The satisfaction quotient

Scheffler remembered tournament host Jack Nicklaus’ words by the fringe of the 18th green in 2021. “I missed a putt that would have been for a playoff, and he told me I didn’t make the putt today, but one day I’ll make the putt on 18 and I’ll be walking off to shake his hand,” said Scheffler as Nicklaus, winner of 73 PGA Tour titles and sprightly at 84, sat next to him in the interview room.

The Players Championship, Scheffler’s first win of 2024, was the toughest given the battle with a strained neck that week. But to make the putt from 5 feet on the 18th green of Jack’s Place (as Muirfield is known) and shake Nicklaus’ hand as winner placed the Memorial “up there pretty significantly” in terms of satisfaction.

There was more to the sense of fulfilment as it was the first time the Schefflers were together as a family by the green. Scottie, his wife and biggest supporter Meredith, and son Bennett — who was born in May 2024. Even though the newborn had no clue that his father pulled off his fifth win in eight starts on Tour, as parents it was fun, and a memory they will “always look back fondly as Benny’s first week out on the road”.

No resting on laurels

Scheffler goes into the US Open, held at Pinehurst Resort from June 13 to 16, as the shortest odds favourite in a Major in 15 years, but that will have no bearing on the preparations. “We all start at even par [at the beginning of a tournament],” said Scheffler.

His status as World No 1, increasing the gap over the field as FedExCup leader or setting the Tour record for most prize money won in a season with USD 24 million are byproducts of the toil away from the glare of cameras.

Scheffler’s take was an insight into the steely mind of a champion, and the tee-off at the US Open will be as process driven as any other week on Tour.

“I’m always trying to work on all aspects of my Game and when I step up there [on the 1st tee], I always remind myself that I’m prepared for this, I did everything I could in order it play well. If you see me at a tournament, there’s about a 99 percent chance that I checked all the boxes and I’m ready to play.

“I put in an awful lot of work into this game, and just because I got to No. 1 in the world doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working. I remember all the amount of time I spent out there sweating in the sun and putting in the time and the effort in order to become good. I continue to try to even work harder,” he said.

No job security despite records galore

With an additional USD 4 million pay cheque, and the only player with wins in multiple Signature Events on the PGA Tour this 2024 season, Scheffler made the records tumble on Sunday.

His list of achievements is winding:

  • The first with five wins since 2016-17.
  • The second since 1950 with five wins including a Major, before the US Open.
  • The first since 1980 with five victories before the US Open.
  • The second player to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship, Masters and Memorial Tournament in the same year after Tiger Woods (2001).

There’re more, but the man had a different take.

“Sometimes I still feel like we’re in high school because I don’t really have a real job… Playing Golf for a living, you are kind of a weird person in general, kind of just taking punishment constantly. To choose this life as Golfer is not for a normal person. We all got a few screws loose to play this Game professionally and basically just battling week-in, week-out,” said Scheffler.

‘Mr Consistent’ willing to wait

The wait for Win No 7 on Tour is frustrating for sure, but Collin Morikawa has been quietly spinning a tale of consistency that could well translate into glory at the US Open or the ensuing weeks.

The Open Championship in July is familiar territory with his career’s second Major win in 2021, but Morikawa is taking heart from the fact that ticking most of the boxes in tournament play is a good omen.

It all started with the T3 at the Masters in April, and since then Morikawa has had three top-5s in as many starts. The runner-up position at the 2024 Memorial Tournament is his best finish this season, the 27-year-old is reaping the rewards of keeping it simple.

Amid the disappointment is the realisation that it could have gone either way on Sunday, and Morikawa will keep persevering. “I’m playing with what I have and not trying to go against the grain. It’s hard to do that in this kind of sport that we play in because we want to perfect things. But things are coming together nicely and it’s just about going out for next week, the next couple weeks, staying true and not trying to force anything,” said the man whose final day’s 71 was among the handful under-par cards on a Sunday layout that Nicklaus described as “hard/really hard”.

Solid preparation

Adam Hadwin’s final round ended in a way that even before Sunday was over, he had applied a “Band-Aid” (to prevent further damage), but “it came off” and resulted in more bloodshed on the final three holes (bogeys on Holes 16-18).

Despite the over-par finish, the solo third was his best finish since the 2023 Shriners Children’s Open, and earned him an exemption to next month’s Open Championship, the season’s final Major.

“I take a lot of positives away from this week. I can comPete with some of the best players in the world on a very difficult Golf course and that’s what I’m going to have to do next week [at the US Open] as well.”

Patience was the main by-product out of Jack’s Place for Hadwin, and he is aware fortitude will again be the ally at Pinehurst.

“It’s going to be a very similar test, you’re going to hit some good shots that don’t get rewarded and you’re going to have to scramble and stay patient and do all the things that I tried to do today. It’s good prep for next week, I expect the USGA to do what the USGA does, make it very difficult on us, challenge us mentally more than anything. I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot and just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” said Hadwin.

Life-changing week

2024 Jack Nicklaus Award winner Jackson Koivun (52nd/+18) became the first amateur to make cut at the Memorial since 2009, and by the end of it, the youngster had made the most of the sponsor’s exemption.

Making cut got the 19-year-old valuable points on the PGA Tour University’s Accelerated Program, and hopefully some more starts will come his way as he searches for a full Tour card.

Like Nick Dunlap, who won at the start of the season as an amateur, Koivun has the credentials make an impact on the pro circuit.

The Auburn freshman led his university to its first national title, and became the first in NCAA History to sweep three collegiate Player of the Year awards and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

(Main and featured images: Memorial Tournament/ Instagram)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Who won the 2024 Memorial Tournament?

With a tournament total of 8-under 280 (67, 68, 71, 74) World No 1 Scottie Scheffler posted his season’s fifth win by one shot over Collin Morikawa.

How many titles has Scottie Scheffler won in 2024?

Scheffler’s five wins in 2024 are as follows: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship, Masters Tournament, RBC Heritage and Memorial Tournament.

How much prize money did Scottie Scheffler win?

With one more USD 4 million winner’s cheque out of a tournament corpus of USD 20 million, Scheffler set the PGA Tour record for most prize money in a single season till now with USD 24 million.

Trending