Scheffler relishing McIlroy and Rahm battle, 50/50 on PGA Tour cuts

Ronan MacNamara

Scottie Scheffler (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler is part of the headline grouping at the PLAYERS Championship after being drawn in a star-studded three-ball with world number one Jon Rahm and world number three Rory McIlroy.

Scheffler briefly ascended to the summit of the OWGR with his win in Phoenix, only for Rahm to leapfrog him in Riviera with his fifth win in nine starts. The Masters champion tees it up at TPC Sawgrass as world number two with all three players having a chance to end the week as world number one and he is relishing competing with his seemingly world number one rivals.

“The way I’m approaching it is I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Rory and Jon are very talented golfers. I’m just looking forward to going out there and watching them play and having a good time out there and competing together,” Scheffler explained. “I’m sure that the fans will be out there watching us, and it will be a lot of fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to make some birdies and give them some roars. Should be a lot of fun.

“Both Jon and Rory have won many many golf tournaments out here. I think if you added up all our wins together mine would be a pretty small percentage of that win total. So hopefully we’ll all continue to play great golf. I think it’s fun having three guys kind of jostling for the world No. 1 and I’m very pleased to be one of ’em. Rory and Jon are both such talented players that any time I can be spoken in the same breath as those guys it’s special for me.

“Especially growing up watching a guy like Rory play golf for a long time. So hopefully we’ll continue to play good and be able to compete for a long time out here.”

Last week the PGA Tour announced changes to its 2024 schedule with eight designated events having limited fields of 70-78 with elevated prize funds and crucially, no halfway cut. Scheffler can understand the mixed reaction towards the changes but was coy on what side of the fence he was on in the debate.

“I’m 50/50 on that because as a player, I think a cut is good. I think when you go to the other side and you go to sponsors, a cut is probably bad.

“But from a player’s point of view, sometimes there’s value to making cuts. Like if we’re going to have an elevated event the week before a major and there’s no cut and I show up and I play two awful rounds, sometimes you would rather be just like, all right, just kick me out of the tournament, let me go regroup and get ready for next week.

“But from a sponsor and fan point of view, it’s arguably not very good. So for me I don’t stand too hard on one side of the fence on that. I’m not the guy running the business. I’m the one out here trying to play. So all I can do is go out there and approach these events.

“But it’s something maybe we’ll fiddle around with in the future. I don’t know exactly what the format will be for every event next year, but we’ll see.”

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