Just as so many players had done to him on the last PGA Tour, American golfer Scottie Scheffler rose to beat out other top golfers at the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open. This is Scheffler’s first Tour win, after falling short in several events in 2021.
This was a very refreshing match not only because Scheffler was finally able to come out on top but also because we saw some exciting action from the world’s current greats to follow up.
The 2022 WM Phoenix Open began play at the Tournament Players Club Scottsdale in Arizona, where Scheffler was down before he came up. On the first round, he opened with three birdies at the beginning but shot two bogeys on the back nine. Round two hit Scheffler even harder with a double bogey to dampen what would be a gloomy round with two more bogeys, although it was no indication on how the next 18 holes would go.
For Scottie Scheffler, the best was always yet to come.
Scheffler won the third round with nine birdies to shoot 62, which was 9-under-par 71. Essentially, he called game despite having seemingly average and slightly below average prior rounds. He finished fifth on round four with seven birdies and four bogeys forcing him into what would be a three-round playoff against fellow American golfer Patrick Cantlay, who was robbed, as I would normally say of Scheffler.
Cantlay finished second on the weekend, but consistently shot in the top 10 of each round. The only exception? Round three, which Scheffler won.
He would’ve won the match a lot earlier as well if he made the birdie on the last hole instead of the par-4 it had. Nonetheless, Scheffler found his putting game on the third attempt after going for par on each of the first two rounds of the playoff. Cantlay missed his putt and Scottsdale was Scottie’s for the taking.
The next spot that should be up for grabs is the top golfer in the world, and personally I’m still waiting for Official World Golf Ranking to make some adjustments. Quite frankly, I think others are too as the site’s slow data speeds on Monday afternoon were perhaps due to traffic by many users refreshing the homepage. Why is Jon Rahm of Spain still the No.1 golfer in the world?
A few weeks ago this was the question, and it continues to press especially after he finished in a tie for 10th place at TPC Scottsdale this past weekend. Before that, he split third place at the Farmers Insurance Open. Week four saw him at another tie but in 14th place at The American Express. However, he did come out at second in the Sentry Tournament of Champions for his first match of 2022.
Don’t get me wrong; these scores aren’t the worst, and Rahm is an excellent golfer. I understand the points-based rankings but they really just aren’t adding up here. American golfer Collin Morikawa is in second place with an average of 8.124 points, just short of Rahm’s 9.137, but he’s played in 50 qualifying events so the divisor is larger than Rahm’s 45.
Patrick Cantlay, who came in second this weekend as we know, has an average of 7.534 points per event with 301.36 points total. At face value, this is a huge difference from Rahm’s and Morikawa’s 411.17 and 406.19 respectively, but this man has every right to be there in the top three. He’s finished his last six events in the top 10 standings, but placed in an 11th-place tie in The Northern Trust toward the end of the 2021 season.
As of late, Cantlay has been putting back and forth between third and fourth place in the world, but in terms of consistency, this American should be ranked if not second, first. I know this is a bold take from a points and events standpoint, but he’s improving with each Tour event and has consistent progress while doing so.
He’s certainly out-performing the world’s best, that’s for sure. If nothing else, he beats the top two in terms of purse, with a grand total of $1,907,600 earned. Of course, Scheffler has to beat him there too, earning just under $1 million more with his sweet $2,701,814. At the end of the day, Cantlay is still six places above Scheffler’s spot at No. 9. I guess it all depends on what green matters—the one that you earn or the one that determines what you earn.
The next green to approach on the PGA Tour is the Riviera Country Club for The Genesis Invitational at Pacific Palisades, CA. The reigning champion is Max Homa of America, who will look to defend his title against all top-10 ranked golfers in the world and collectively this field will put on a great weekend of golf.