Scottie Scheffler lights up Southern Hills in scouting trip ahead of 104th PGA Championship

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Tiger Woods isn’t the only major winner to show up at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a preview of the host venue of next week’s 104th PGA Championship.

So, too, did World No. 1 and reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, though no one tracked his private plane and helicopters didn’t hover above as he played his round.

But Scheffler was there on Thursday alongside his Zurich Classic of New Orleans partner Ryan Palmer and a buddy of theirs to see the latest renovations made by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018.

Scheffler likely will be more familiar than most of the players in the PGA field with Southern Hills, which he often has touted as his favorite course. It is the site of Scheffler’s victory in the 2015 Big 12 Championship while competing for the University of Texas and he finished in a tie for fifth in 2018. He also competed in the 2014 Trans-Mississippi Championship, tying for 21st place.

Last week, Scheffler had Cameron Chhim on the bag, and the Southern Hills assistant professional came away duly impressed with the game of the Masters champion. And why not? The hottest golfer on the planet, with wins in four of his last six individual tournaments, fired 6-under 64 in his practice round. After touring the front nine in a ho-hum score of 1-under and then enduring a rain delay, Scheffler peeled off birdies on Nos. 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 17.

“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 or at least be in contention. He hits it far enough and he has just incredible distance control with his irons. Ryan shot 2 or 3 under and looked like he was standing still based on how Scottie was playing.”

Scheffler, the only player capable of winning the Grand Slam this year, will warm up for the second major this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his hometown of Dallas.

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Dustin Johnson 2010 PGA Championship
Dustin Johnson 2010 PGA Championship