Scottie Scheffler finds Pinehurst No. 2 to be ‘a mental torture chamber at times’

PINEHURST, N.C. – Scottie Scheffler is human.

The world No. 1 and five-time winner this season, shot 1-over 71 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s No. 2 Course on Saturday.

With a 74 to close last week at Muirfield Village Golf Club and rounds of 71-74-71 this week at the U.S. Open, Scheffler has posted four straight over-par rounds for the first time in 120 professional starts on the PGA Tour. The only other time he’s posted four straight over-par rounds dates back to his amateur days and his pro debut: the 2017 U.S. Open (amateur): 73 (R4), 2018 Genesis Open (amateur): 73 (R1), 76 (R2); and 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic (professional): 71 (R1).

“The game of golf is a mental torture chamber at times, especially the U.S. Open,” said the reigning Masters champion. “Another frustrating day. Today was a day where I thought I played a lot better than my score.”

Scottie Scheffler waits to putt on the 17th green during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports

Scheffler snuck into the weekend with no room to spare as the 36-hole came at 5-over 145. In the third round, he made two birdies and three bogeys to fall to 6-over 216. He lost more a stroke and a half on the greens and has lost more than 5 strokes on the greens this week.

“I’m having a lot of trouble reading these greens. I had a lot of putts today where I felt like I hit it really good. I looked up and they were not going the way I thought they were going to go,” he said.

Scheffler’s tee game has been unusually erratic. He’s hit 25 of 42 fairways, including only six on Thursday.

“The first 27 holes, I was in the native area way too much of the times. Everything felt really tough,” he said. “Now that I was able to hit a lot more fairways today, it maybe felt a touch easier to me.”

Asked if he might alter his approach to preparing for tough tests such as the U.S. Open, Scheffler suggested he could tweak his schedule in the future.

“I think going into the major championships, especially the ones we know are going to be really challenging, it may be in my best interest not to play the week before,” he said. “That’s stuff for me to figure out later in the year. That’s some of my thoughts sitting around watching the cut.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek