Scottie Scheffler struggles at Shriners, but Tom Kite says: ‘I don’t think it will be long before he wins’

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Count Hall of Fame golfer Tom Kite as a member of the rapidly growing Scottie Scheffler Fan Club — not that he’s a new convert.

He’s always believed in his fellow former University of Texas Longhorn, and Kite sees more promise than ever in the young golfer’s upside.

Kite watched Scheffler firsthand during the recent Ryder Cup in Whistling Straits, an experience he appreciated.

“They asked past captains, and we had a great time,” Kite said. “They really played well (in dominating the Europeans to win the Cup at Whistling Straits.) We had nine of the top 11 in the world, and it wasn’t like the Europeans played bad. We just played inspired golf.”

As for Scheffler, he was expected to be in the hunt at this week’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. Scheffler was one of the betting favorites but struggled to get out of the gate on Thursday, finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard with a 74. He limped home with four bogeys and an unseemly 40 on the back at TPC Summerlin.

Still, Kite thinks the first victory for Scheffler — who did not finish outside the top 20 in a major championship, a record that includes three top 10s — is fast approaching.

At the Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club back in March, Scheffler made it all the way to the championship match.

“He’s excelled at every level of golf from junior golf to UT to amateur golf, and now he is excelling in the professional ranks. I don’t think it will be long before he wins (his first PGA Tour event),” Kite said.

“I have no doubts he will win in the near future.”