Scottie Scheffler’s putting at BMW Championship will put PGA Tour stars on notice

Scottie Scheffler’s putting at BMW Championship will put PGA Tour stars on notice

The first-round leaderboard at the BMW Championship is stacked with major champions and big names.

Rory McIlroy and Brian Harman lead at 5-under, while Scottie Scheffler sits one stroke back at 4-under after day one at Olympia Fields.

“I think it was a really solid day,” Scheffler said after his round. “I hit a lot of greens. I rolled the ball pretty well on the greens. I think the conditions late in the day, the greens with all the rain got pretty chewed up, and all you could do was hit nice putts, and I felt like I did that most of the time.”

Scheffler has struggled with the flat stick all season, but he actually gained a half-stroke on the field with his putter Thursday.

At the par-4 4th hole, Scheffler made his first birdie of the day by rolling in a 17-footer.

Later at the 12th, the 385-yard par-4, Scheffler rolled in a 29-footer from the back of the green.

At the next hole, the short par-3 13th, the former Texas Longhorn stuck it to 11 feet away and made that putt too.

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, BMW Championship

Scottie Scheffler lines up a putt on the fourth green during the first round of the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club on August 17, 2023.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Scheffler then birdied the par-5 15th, the second easiest hole on the course, which marked his fourth par-breaker on the back-nine.

Five others matched his 4-under 66. Rickie Fowler, Wyndham Clark, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sahith Theegala, and Chris Kirk all sit at 4-under in what is shaping up to be a terrific tournament.

Interestingly, at the 2020 BMW Championship, 4-under proved to be the winning score. That was the last time Olympia Fields hosted this tournament.

But after 18 holes this year, eight players sit at 4-under or better.

Olympia Fields played much easier Thursday, thanks to the moisture the course received in the morning. During a two-hour weather delay, the course received almost a half-inch of rain.

“I like the golf course,” Scheffler said. “I think it’s a really good test. Without the wind, this is probably the easiest you’ll ever see the course play with the softness.”

The forecast for the remaining rounds calls for plenty of sun and breezy conditions at times. It will likely firm the course up, which should produce higher scores.

Scheffler will be ready for the more demanding conditions this weekend. He always plays well, no matter the course or weather. The question is, will the other contenders be?

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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