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scottie scheffler tiger woods

Is it right to compare Scottie Scheffler with Tiger Woods?

With every trophy Scottie Scheffler wins, more comparisons get drawn to Tiger Woods, but NCG’s Matt Chivers reminds us that this type of dominance isn’t as extraordinary as it looks…

 

Nobody I know thinks Scottie Scheffler is better than Tiger Woods. Nobody that anyone knows thinks Scottie Scheffler is better than Tiger Woods.

But with each birdie he drops and each trophy he picks up, these names are spoken in the same sentence on a more regular basis. If you look at Scheffler’s 2024 season, it is Tiger-like. There is no question.

He has won The Players (the PGA Tour’s flagship event), the Memorial, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the RBC Heritage – all of the events golf fans would agree stand tallest in prestige on the US circuit. Scheffler also won the Masters again back in April.

The 28-year-old won the Travelers Championship at the weekend to make that six trophies before the start of July. He became the fourth player since 1983 to win six times in a PGA Tour season, and the first since Woods.

If he wins The Open at Troon, Scheffler will do well to top again what has been a seismic year in which he was much fancied to win the PGA Championship as well were he not arrested on the morning of the second round.

No one is placing the smiley Texan above Woods by any stretch, not from what I have seen online anyway. But some of us are acting like this type of domination is abnormal and that Scheffler’s control over the game is something only Woods has achieved.

This is where we are wrong. A good handful of players, some of them Scheffler’s contemporaries, have touched greatness like he has, but never sustained it as long as The Cat did. We don’t know if Scheffler will sustain it because we aren’t time travellers. There is no problem with this, but when we discuss levels of dominance, there might be a touch of recency bias to Scheffler’s play.

scottie scheffler tiger woods

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Tiger Woods vs Scottie Scheffler stats are still incomparable

In 2015, Jordan Spieth won five times which included the US Open and the Masters. That is arguably a better season than what Scheffler has accumulated so far (We are still in June, though).

Jason Day won five times including the PGA Championship in the same year. Justin Thomas emulated Day’s record two years later. It isn’t unheard of that players in the modern era can catch fire and stamp down wins like numbers on a bingo card.

This is the recency bias. It is easy to forget these fantastic seasons from three fantastic players, all because they are not as fantastic as they used to be. As we’ve been incessantly told after watching Rory McIlroy throw away the US Open at Pinehurst, golf is the toughest game and there are no guarantees that success is sustained.

Honourable mentions must go to Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka too. In terms of where players stand in history based on majors alone, this pair, with 11 majors between them, represent a benchmark Scheffler must still go some way to reaching.

This is not to throw cold water on Scheffler and his achievements. They are truly world-class from a class act himself, but we need time to discover if this episode of dominance becomes a series. In the meantime, you should cite the brilliance of Vijay Singh or Nick Price before skipping the record to the best résumé in the charts.

Singh of Fiji won nine times in 2004 including the PGA Championship and this was when Woods was strutting around in his pomp. Price of Zimbabwe won six times in 1994 and rattled off a PGA Championship of his own and The Open Championship too.

There is no doubt Scheffler would take great pride in being compared to these international icons. If nothing else, this column recognises the vast levels of talent we’ve been treated to in the past and the present that aren’t called Tiger Woods.

“Anytime you can be compared to Tiger I think is really special, but, I mean, the guy stands alone I think in our game,” he said at Sawgrass in March. “He really does. This is my eighth tournament win now out here, I’ve tied him in Players Championships.

“Outside of that, I got 14 more majors and 70-some PGA Tour events to catch up. So I think I’m going to stick to my routine and just continue to plot along, try and stay as even-keeled as I can.”

The 15-time major champion won six times in one season twice, seven times once, eight times twice, and nine times once. It isn’t fair to compare anyone to this man. His levels of dominance were quite frankly daft.

It isn’t fair to throw Scottie in with Tiger. He can sit with Singh, Price and Spieth for now until the future allows him to stand.

NOW READ: Who caddies for Scottie Scheffler?

NOW READ: How much did Scottie Scheffler earn at the Travelers Championship?

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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