Scottie Scheffler continues to show why he’s World No. 1 at the Memorial

Another day, another under-par round for Scottie Scheffler.

He played flawlessly at the Memorial on Thursday, and his score should have been much lower than the 5-under 67 he posted.

Scheffler missed a few good birdie looks over his first few holes, then had an ill-advised miss on the par-5 5th, leading to a bogey. But as Scheffler explained afterward, a massive chunk of mud sat on the right side of his ball in the 5th fairway, which forced his approach to miss 40 yards left.

“Because of the mud on the ball, you have absolutely no control over where it’s going to go,” Scheffler explained.

“I felt like we tried to do the best we could to get it up there somewhere, but yeah, you just can’t control it.”

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament

Scottie Scheffler hits his drive on the 18th hole during the first round of the Memorial Tournament.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

But in true Scheffler fashion, he did not let that bother him. Instead, he carried himself like he usually does, as the best player in the world should, and made four more birdies on the back nine.

“Going out this morning, we had a little softer greens, a little softer fairways, and I was able to put up a good score,” Scheffler assessed.

“It felt like I hit a lot of quality shots today. It felt like my ball striking was really good, and I was able to hole a few putts as well, so overall, I was pretty pleased with the round today.”

His most impressive birdie of the day came on his last hole, the difficult par-4 18th.

The 18th ranked as the most challenging hole on Thursday, playing 0.36 shots above par. It yielded only nine birdies while producing eight double bogies or worse. Victor Perez of France even ended his promising round with a triple, thanks to a comedy of errors in front of this elevated putting surface.

Nevertheless, Scheffler made it look easy. He hit his best tee shot of the day right down the middle of the fairway, leaving only 138 yards into this 478-yard par-4.

He then stuck a wedge to 18 inches and calmly tapped in for his sixth birdie of the day, temporarily giving him sole possession of the lead.

“I feel like I’m always trying to stay as patient as possible,” Scheffler explained.

“Whether or not you’re shooting really low scores or shooting around par, I think I’m always trying to plot my way around the golf course for sure.”

Scheffler now enters Friday’s round trailing Adam Hadwin by a stroke. But by the end of the second round, it would surprise nobody if Scheffler held the solo lead. He is playing in a league of his own, and nobody seems to be particularly close to him—like Jack Nicklaus in the late 60s and early 70s.

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

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