Scottie Scheffler has surged to the top of the world rankings after a brilliant run of form, reeling off victories on the PGA Tour at the Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WCG World Match Play. The 25-year-old knocked Jon Rahm out of top spot ahead of The Masters, where the American will attempt to channel his form into a first major win. Scheffler has been competitive at the majors in the past in his fledgling career, but has not managed to get over the line.
He is now backed at 16/1 in the US Masters betting odds to win the tournament and clinch the Green Jacket. Scheffler is the form player heading into the event, but Augusta has had a habit of halting dominant runs from rising stars in the past. The American can look no further than the example of his compatriot Jordan Spieth, who was seemingly on the precipice of winning his second Masters crown on the bounce in 2016. Spieth was the dominant golfer on the PGA Tour and was earning comparisons to Tiger Woods for his brilliance around the course. However, his dramatic collapse at the 12th hole at Augusta prevented him from regaining the title, and he has only added one further crown to his name since.
Scheffler has not reached that level yet, although he did make a solid start to his Masters career last season at the beginning of an outstanding year. The American finished in the top 20 of the competition, and proceeded to place in the top 10 at the remaining three majors of the season. Scheffler’s best performance came at the US Open when he finished tied-seventh, but the tournament ended on a low note as he carded a one-over round of 72 on the last day. The 25-year-old was in a position to challenge Rahm for the crown, but he failed to rise to the occasion as the Spaniard kicked on and won his first major. That experience should stand him in good stead for the challenge of the Masters.
The American has developed a killer instinct in the early months of 2022, which was perhaps harboured after an excellent Ryder Cup. Scheffler claimed 2.5 points out of a possible three in his first experience of the competition, which included a dominant 4 & 3 victory over Rahm in the singles. He has channelled that form into the PGA Tour, and was evident when he out-battled Patrick Cantlay to secure his first PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open, defeating his compatriot in a playoff. Scheffler was then in peak form to win the Arnold Palmer Cup trophy by one stroke ahead of a talented field.
After a slow start to the WGC World Match Play, Scheffler had to dig deep to advance to the knockout stage. He forged his way through and then played sensational golf to surge to the final, edging out Billy Horschel before overcoming Seamus Power and Dustin Johnson. The American then overwhelmed Kevin Kisner in the final to win the crown and secure the top spot in the world rankings. The next task will be to repeat his brilliance on the biggest stage in world golf with the Green Jacket at stake. The 25-year-old appears to have the attributes and the form to take on the challenge, but winning at Augusta is another level entirely.