HOUSTON – Scottie Scheffler got mad. Then he went deep.
A course record seemed unlikely after a frustrating start to the day. When he finished his belated first round, he missed a 5 foot par putt on the final hole to sign for a 2-over 72. A bad tee shot early in his second round and another early bogey got him over the edge.
“Anger can go a long way on the golf course,” he said. “You can use it and you get even more frustrated and angry and you start to think negatively. I used this anger in a positive way today. “
Scheffler ended Friday by signing for the lowest score in short history for this renovated version of Memorial Park, which is hosting the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open for its sophomore year. Scheffler’s 62 exceeded the previous record – set by three players in last year’s final round – by one stroke.
It was also Scheffler’s fourth lap of 62 or less since the start of the 2019-20 season (his rookie year), the most on the TOUR during that period. That includes a 59 shot in last year’s FedExCup playoffs.
Scheffler jumped from outside the cutting line and into the fight. At 6-under 134 (72-62) he is four behind the leading Martin Trainer.
Scheffler is aiming for his first PGA TOUR win, and that’s pretty much the only thing missing on the 25-year-old’s résumé. He was Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year 2019 and PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year 2020. He has qualified for the TOUR Championship in both of his seasons and has been in the top 10 in the last three majors. He crowned his Ryder Cup debut by making the first four holes in his individual match with Jon Rahm Birdie to beat world numbers 1, 4 and 3.
The victory may not have crossed Scheffler’s mind after the start on Thursday. He made his third hole with a double bowey and fell over on 3.
He thought he’d got his swing in order after a quick range session between laps on Friday. Then he hooked his tee shot from the first tee. A bogey on the fourth hole was the last straw.
“After chasing # 4, I basically said to myself, I’ve had enough of this crap,” he said. “I told my caddy that too when I was walking down the fifth fairway. Hit a nice putt on six and do the rounds from there. “
He birdies six of seven holes from # 5 to # 11, then added birdies at # 15 and # 17. In the second round, he only missed four fairways after hitting less than half on his opening round. His 12 greens hits were three more than in the opening round.
“This golf course can be quite challenging from the Bermuda rough and you have to hit the ball in play,” he said. “When you hit raised greens in the rough that you can’t hold just because you knock your knuckles out of the rough, it was very important to get the ball into the fairway.”