Scottie Scheffler completes her journey at WGC-Dell Match Play

Scottie Scheffler, less than two months out of her first PGA Tour title, will become world No. 1 after beating Kevin Kisner in the WGC-Match Play final on Sunday

Scottie Scheffler found himself Sunday in the same spot he was a year ago, in a title match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Only it’s not the same. Far away from it.

Just 12 months ago, Scheffler was a 24-year-old pro in his second season on the PGA Tour and went without a win. He’s not even ranked in the top 30 on the World Golf Rankings. He was conspicuously beaten by Billy Horschel at Austin Country Club that day, managing only one birdie.

What a difference a year makes. Scheffler arrives in Austin this week with wins in two of his last four events. Now, he’s ranked fifth in the world and quickly rose to become one of the dominant players on the tour. And the result was different: he went away with the trophy this time, beating Kevin Kisner 4 & 3 for his third PGA Tour title in the past two months.

Kisner found out the hard way that Scheffler was more mature than he was a year ago. How do you beat a player laughing over a lousy shot? Who hits a good tee to the left but then shoots a bullet in the middle of the green to halve the hole, like Scheffler did on the ninth? Or who throws a chip in a beachside bunker, just to get a bird?

At 25, Scheffler is the youngest champion in the event’s 23-year history. He is one of only six players to reach the final in recent years and has improved his record to 10-2-2 in two appearances. And, in addition to the trophy and $2.1 million prize, tomorrow, Scheffler wakes up to a pretty sight: his name is at the top of the world rankings.

Scottie Scheffler Will Be World No. 1 With Match Win

The rise to the top of the golf world has become superstardom. Just 42 days ago, Scheffler was without a win on the PGA Tour. Two years ago, he was a rookie on tour. Four years ago, he was still attending college in Texas. He turned pro at the end of 2018, a three-and-a-half-year journey to No. 1, the third fastest among golfers to reach the top of the table, behind only Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

“I really don’t know what to say about that,” Scheffler said in his post-winning press conference. “I don’t feel that way. I don’t feel like I’m number 1 in the world. I feel like the guy I was with four months ago, and I hope that doesn’t change.”

Scheffler grew up in Dallas only dreaming of playing on the PGA Tour. He never even considered the possibility that he could be number 1. He just wanted to compete and he wanted to win. Ranking will take care of itself.

“It’s not something I don’t want to achieve or don’t believe I can do. I grew up wearing long pants to practice because I wanted to be a professional golfer. It was something I dreamed of,” he said. “Being here is really fun for me and being able to win tournaments is pretty amazing. The rankings never really crossed my mind.”

Scheffler still has one point to add to his career résumé. He has never won a major championship. He’ll have his chance in two weeks’ time when he heads to the Augusta National Golf Club for the Best Golf Masters of Anyone on the Course. His ability to drive long cars, his nerves and an unflinching attitude make him the perfect match for Augusta.

He is doing what he has always dreamed of and he is doing so much better, much sooner than he could have imagined. He’s the first in his generation to hit #1, beating Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland. Compliments continue to come to Texans, and they don’t seem to stop anytime soon.

For more from The PGA Tour, be sure to follow FanSided and stay tuned to our golf center for all the latest news and results. Scottie Scheffler completes her journey at WGC-Dell Match Play

John Verrall

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