Scottie Scheffler’s Victory at the Memorial Shows His Growth and Dominance

DUBLIN, Ohio – Not long ago, Scottie Scheffler wasn’t winning as much as expected despite his phenomenal tee-to-green game. His putting was a notable weakness, preventing him from converting his extraordinary ball-striking into more victories. This changed dramatically at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, where Scheffler showcased his growth and cemented his place at the top of men’s golf.

Scheffler’s 2023 Journey

In 2023, Scheffler's putting issues were a glaring contrast to his otherwise stellar game. His two wins seemed insufficient for a player of his caliber, especially when close calls in majors didn't yield victories. His putting struggles culminated at last year’s Memorial Tournament, where he gained an impressive 20.7 strokes from tee to green but lost over eight strokes on the greens, leading to a narrow defeat. Jack Nicklaus consoled him, saying, "(You) didn't make the putt today, but one day (you’ll) make the putt."

The Turnaround

This year, Scheffler's victory at the Memorial Tournament, sealed with a crucial 5-foot par putt on the 18th, demonstrated his significant progress. Reflecting on Nicklaus’s words, Scheffler noted the special moment of making the winning putt and shaking Nicklaus’s hand.

Scheffler’s win marked his fifth of the season, a milestone not reached since Justin Thomas in 2017. He is now the favorite entering the U.S. Open with 3-1 betting odds, the lowest since Tiger Woods in 2009. This season, Scheffler has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, THE PLAYERS Championship, the Masters, the RBC Heritage, and the Memorial Tournament.

Overcoming Challenges

Scheffler's success came despite significant personal and professional challenges. He navigated the pressures of being compared to legends like Woods and Nicklaus, and dealt with personal distractions, including the birth of his first child and the emotional impact of Grayson Murray’s passing. Scheffler’s caddie, Ted Scott, highlighted his resilience amidst these challenges, noting how Scheffler remained focused and undeterred.

The Putter Fix

Scheffler’s putting woes led him to seek the help of putting coach Phil Kenyon, marking a shift from his long-time coach Randy Smith. Kenyon worked on refining Scheffler’s technique, helping him develop a more athletic and less robotic approach. The significant breakthrough came when Scheffler switched from a blade to a mallet putter, leading to four wins in five starts, including THE PLAYERS and the Masters. This season, Scheffler ranks 71st in Strokes Gained: Putting, a notable improvement supporting his exceptional ball-striking.

Scheffler’s experience and growth in handling putting challenges have made him a tougher and better player. His mental toughness and ability to learn from past struggles have been crucial to his recent success.

The Memorial Tournament Win

During the final round of the Memorial, Scheffler faced several missed putts but remained composed. His lead fluctuated, but a pivotal moment came on the 16th hole, where he made a crucial 16-foot par putt while Morikawa missed a similar length putt, giving Scheffler a brief two-shot lead. Despite a bogey on the 17th, Scheffler’s par putt on the 18th sealed his victory, exemplifying the mental toughness and improved putting that have defined his rise to dominance.


Scottie Scheffler's victory at the Memorial Tournament underscores his journey from struggling with putting to becoming a dominant force in men’s golf. His perseverance, coupled with strategic changes in his game, has positioned him as the top player to beat in major tournaments.