Scottie Scheffler’s massive blunder puts entire Tour Championship field in contention for FedEx Cup

Scottie Scheffler’s massive blunder puts entire Tour Championship field in contention for FedEx Cup

ATLANTA — Scottie Scheffler had control of the Tour Championship on the front nine, but the back nine was a completely different story.

A disastrous one, in fact.

On the 11th tee, Scheffler was 3-under for his round, going along nicely, and had control of the tournament at 13-under overall.

Then he three-putted the 11th green, a harbinger of things to come four holes later.

At the par-3 15th, which is almost completely surrounded by water, Scheffler hit it into the lake. It was such a bad swing that it did not even come close to finding dry land.

“I’m obviously pretty frustrated with how I played today,” Scheffler said in his post-round interview.

After hitting his third shot onto the green, Scheffler again three-putted, making a triple bogey six at the 211-yard par-3.

“I had a few 3-putts today, which definitely is frustrating, and then I had the bad swing there on the par-3 15th,” Scheffler added.

Of course, Scheffler started the Tour Championship with a two-shot advantage at 10-under, thanks to his standing atop the FedEx Cup ranking.

But now Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, and Viktor Hovland share the lead at 10-under, while Scheffler sits at 9-under after carding a 1-over 71.

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, Tour Championship

Scottie Scheffler hits a shot during the first round of the 2023 Tour Championship.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

“I try to approach each round the same way, but yeah, it is a bit weird starting a tournament with the lead,” Scheffler noted. “I guess it’s a little bit of a blessing to have a pretty bad day and still be in the tournament. So, yeah, I gotta go out there [Friday] and keep fighting.”

At last year’s Tour Championship, Scheffler began the tournament at 10-under and opened with a 5-under 65.

He came nowhere close to that Thursday, but thankfully for the Texan, he is still in contention for the FedEx Cup. And considering he has hit the ball better than anyone in 2023, one lousy round will not derail his chances of claiming the PGA Tour’s ultimate prize.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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