Scottie Scheffler makes late bid for world No. 1, sits 1 shot again


NASSAU, Bahamas — The diploma Masters champion Scottie Scheffler earned from the McCombs College of Enterprise at Texas didn’t equip him with the abilities to determine the brand new components for the Official World Golf Rating.

He’s No. 2 on the planet. He can return to No. 1 if he wins the Hero World Problem, easy as that.

“I do not like being No. 2,” he mentioned. “I do not like ending second.”

Scheffler took a step in that path within the relentless wind at Albany. He ran off 4 birdies in a five-hole stretch on the again 9 for a 4-under 68, leaving him within the group one shot behind defending champion Viktor Hovland.

Hovland is aware of somewhat about wind. The Norwegian noticed sufficient of it throughout his newbie days throughout Europe, after which he starred at Oklahoma State.

Hovland made eagle for the second straight day – the opposite 19 gamers have mixed for one eagle this week — had three straight birdies on the again 9 and had a 70. He was at 5-under 139.

Scores usually are a lot decrease within the vacation occasion Tiger Woods hosts for a 20-man area of elite gamers within the Bahamas. The course was soaked and performed lengthy on Thursday. It dried out in 30 mph wind on Friday.

Xander Schauffele leaned on beautiful wedge play for a 68 and joined Scheffler, Cameron Younger (69) and Collin Morikawa (71) within the group one shot behind.

Tom Kim dropped two pictures on the ultimate three holes and that gave him a 72, leaving him two pictures behind. That is not the explanation the 20-year-old South Korean raised each arms after he had signed his card. Scrolling by way of his cellphone, he realized South Korea had superior to the knockout stage within the World Cup.

“Goose bumps,” Kim mentioned as he stretched out his arms.

Scheffler spent extra weeks at No. 1 than anybody this 12 months, which earns him the Mark H. McCormack Award. That was a product of 4 wins towards robust fields within the spring, together with his first main. The Masters was his final win.

Rory McIlroy changed him with a win in South Carolina in October, and now Scheffler has an opportunity to seize it again, even when for a short while. McIlroy is predicted to be No. 1 when the 12 months ends no matter what occurs within the Bahamas.

The mannequin went from ranking the highest 200 gamers in a area based mostly on their world rating to ranking everybody within the area utilizing the “strokes gained” components, which measure precise scores and adjusts for relative issue of every spherical.

It favors deeper fields, no matter how lots of the high gamers are there. And it will not be absolutely built-in till subsequent August.

However there was no scarcity of complaints, with even Woods weighing on this week that it is a flawed system. A number of the criticism stems from the brand new components not giving as a lot credit score to smaller fields in contrast with full fields.

“I feel now I’d say the highest gamers should not bringing as a lot weight to occasions as they need to,” Scheffler mentioned.

The Hero World Problem has 15 of the highest 20 on the planet. It additionally has solely 20 gamers, and so the winner will get barely fewer factors than the winner of the Dunhill Hyperlinks Championship in Scotland.

“However it’s additionally actually powerful to rank golfers after they’re not taking part in the identical schedule,” Scheffler mentioned. “So I feel as all of us begin to play collectively extra usually and also you get one of the best gamers taking part in collectively extra usually, it’ll be a lot simpler to rank these guys.

“It is a powerful system. It isn’t one thing that is simple to get proper,” he mentioned. “In different sports activities, you’ve a document and golf just isn’t essentially a document. It is a difficult system. I feel they went from one excessive to the opposite, and we’ll meet within the center, hopefully, and discover one thing that is somewhat bit higher.”

The final word measure stays the low rating, and that belongs to Hovland. Woods, who just isn’t taking part in this week due to plantar fasciitis in his proper foot, is the one participant to have gained the World Problem in consecutive years.

He is undecided how he is getting it completed, particularly on this wind.

“It is form of unusual, like I knew it was windy and I really feel like I missed so many putts,” Hovland mentioned. “And I nonetheless do not feel like I am hitting it excellent. I am not comfy over the ball, however the ball’s going straight and I am giving myself appears to be like.”

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