Scottie Scheffler’s pursuit of a second major championship is off to a strong start. The Masters champion recently shot 64 in a practice round at Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club, which will host next week’s PGA Championship. It’s a course where Scheffler has been victorious before, having won the 2015 Big 12 Conference Championship at the historic Perry Maxwell design that has undergone a dramatic renovation by Gil Hanse.
Scheffler, who holds a sizable lead in the FedExCup after winning four of his last six individual starts, made the trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his Zurich Classic of New Orleans partner, Ryan Palmer, to get a sneak peek at the new-look layout. Scheffler shot an “easy” 64 in last Thursday’s practice round, according to Southern Hills assistant pro Cameron Chhim, who caddied for Scheffler.
“He played one ball the entire time, no practice putts, and made it look easy,” Chhim told Golf Oklahoma. “He’s No. 1 in the world and it was pretty easy to see why. It would be hard to say that he’s not going to win (the PGA) or at least be in contention. He hits it far enough and he has just incredible distance control with his irons. Ryan (Palmer) shot 2 or 3 under and looked like he was standing still based on how Scottie was playing.”
Chhim said Scheffler’s round included six back-nine birdies. Scheffler, who is trying to become the first player since fellow Dallas resident Jordan Spieth (2015) to win the year’s first two majors, has said Southern Hills is one of his favorite courses, and it’s easy to see why.
“His proximity on most was 6 to 8 feet,” Chhim added about the somewhat waterlogged round. “The greens weren’t slow, but they were wet. His speed control was good and just took the break out of a lot of them. He looked like he was converting them easily.”
Chhim said Scheffler shot 1 under on the front nine before a rain delay. Then he ran off birdies on Nos. 10-13, 15 and 17.
Scheffler is playing the AT&T Byron Nelson this week in his hometown of Dallas. The tournament was the site of Scheffler’s PGA TOUR debut eight years ago, as he made a hole-in-one and finished T22 while still in high school.