It took Scotty Scheffler only 42 days to reach number one in the world after his first PGA Tour win in February, an astonishing high thanks to the other two victories that quickly followed.
And in this year’s Masters, only the third of Schaeffler’s career, he made a similarly quick trip to the summit, needing 26 holes to take the lead. Once that was within reach, Schaeffler used his remaining holes on a particularly difficult day at Augusta National (for everyone else) to put a trench at Creek Ray level between him and the rest of the field.
Schaeffler finished his day with seven birdies and five sub-67s, a utterly ridiculous number on a day when high, constant winds blew up most balls that dared soar above, oh, three feet. At the age of eight for the championship, he leads by five strokes on a set of fours at 3-unders.
Schaeffler leads by 5 runs after 36 holes record entry It was set by four others: Hermann Keizer in 1946, Jack Nicklaus in 1975, Raymond Floyd in 1976 and Jordan Spieth in 2015. All four won green jackets, averaging 4.5 strokes.
Scheffler made his first on the eighth hole with a five, a stress-free No. 4 after a nice shot from close range. He then flew the last two Amen Corner slots, #12 and #13, and did the same on #15 and #16, the latter coming after launching the tee to four feet on the water-intensive level 3. He ran five holes, and when he finished, no one was really close to him.
The four golfers closest to the Schaeffler on the Leader’s Council She is of good proportions. Two of them – Charles Schwarzl and Hideki Matsuyama – are already wearing green jackets waiting for them at Augusta National Club, and another – Shane Lowry – has a claret jug in his cup bag as British Open champion. The other – Sungjae Im – led this tournament after the first round on Thursday.
And if Schaeffler played as he did on Friday, none of those proportions would matter.