Scottie Scheffler (16/1 – Masters Outright) picked up his third victory of the year at the WGC Match Play on Sunday and, as a result, moved to the top of the world rankings, making him one of the leading contenders for the Masters next month.
It has been a remarkable start to 2022 for the American, who started off with T25 and T20 finishes, at The American Express and Farmers Insurance Open respectively, before clinching his maiden PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open.
The 25-year-old followed that victory up with a T7 at the Genesis Invitational, before landing title number two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he held off Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton to win by a stroke.
A tie for 55th at The Players Championship was a minor blip, although Scheffler did get caught up in the dreadful conditions over the first couple of days at TPC Sawgrass, but he quickly bounced back with victory in the WGC Match Play.
The New Jersey-born star went one better than the runners-up result from last year, this time beating Kevin Kisner 4&3 in the final to make it three wins in 2022 and climb to the top of the world rankings.
Scheffler has taken just 92 events to rise to No 1, with only Tiger Woods (21) and Jordan Spieth (77) having achieved the feat in a shorter time, while the Match Play champion is the quickest to reach the top of the OWGR after winning for the first time on Tour.
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Everything is pointing towards a strong run at Augusta National, where Scheffler has finished T19 and T18 from his two appearances, although he is not putting any pressure on himself ahead of the Masters.
“I don’t place too many expectations on myself,” he said, as quoted by scotsman.com. “I just like being out here and competing. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do that, and I look forward to doing it as long as you can.
“I’m just going to keep trying to make those incremental improvements and keep my head down and keep working hard.”
With the Masters starting on April 7th, there is only this week’s Valero Texas Open to get in some final preparations for the first major of the season as the excitement builds ahead of the Georgia spectacle.
Jon Rahm, now dropped down to second in the world rankings, is the 9/1 favourite to claim the coveted Green Jacket, while 2020 champion Dustin Johnson and reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa are both priced at 12/1.
Rory McIlroy, who only needs the Masters to complete the Grand Slam, Justin Thomas and Spieth are all available at 14/1, while Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith are priced at 16/1.
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