Scottie Scheffler reveals Open build-up plan in bid to emulate Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo

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It went pretty well for Scottie Scheffler when he made his debut at last year's Scottish Open.

The big-hitting American was playing in his first regular DP World Tour event and recovered from a slow start to fire a scintillating 63 in round two before adding laps of 67 and 69 to finish in a tie for 12th. A week later he crossed the border and headed to the south of England for the Open Championship at Royal St George's. Honing his skills on the links a week earlier proved a smart move as Scheffler ended his Open debut in a tie for eighth spot. There wasn't too much focus on him in 2021; the big storylines lay elsewhere. But this year, Scheffler will be one of the main attractions having shot to World No.1 with an astonishing run of form that produced four wins in six starts.

Victories at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Dell World Match Play were impressive enough but the Texan then took his game to new heights by pulling off a brilliant win at The Masters to land his first Major title.

Scottie Scheffler wins the Green Jacket, The Masters
Scottie Scheffler wins the Green Jacket, The Masters

The sky's the limit for Scheffler in this form and when he heads back to this year's Open Championship, the 25-year-old will be bidding to follow in the footsteps of some of golf's superstars.

The Masters/Open double

An Open at St Andrews is always a special occasion and it's seven years since the tournament last headed to the Home of Golf. One strong omen for Scheffler is that past St Andrews champions had excellent records at The Masters.

Let's delve into some Open history, dating back to Jack Nicklaus' famous win over Doug Sanders in 1970.

Past St Andrews winners and their best previous finish at Augusta National

2015 Zach Johnson - Won 2007 Masters 2010 Louis Oosthuizen - Lost play-off at 2012 Masters

2005 Tiger Woods - Was a four-time Green Jacket winner before his 2005 win

2000 Tiger Woods - Won 1997 Masters 1995 John Daly - Tied third in 1993 Masters 1990 Nick Faldo - Was a two-time Masters winner ahead of his 1990 triumph 1984 Seve Ballesteros - Also a double Masters champ before winning in 1984 1978 Jack Nicklaus - Had won five Masters before his second win at St Andrews

1970 Jack Nicklaus - Was a three-time Masters winners before his dramatic victory in 1970

Tiger Woods, Masters R4 2022
Tiger Woods, Masters R4 2022

Looking at the last nine winners of the Open at St Andrews, seven were already Masters winners, one had lost a play-off at Augusta and another had finished tied third previously at the year's opening major. That's quite a link. But can it be done in the same year? Yes, both Faldo in 1990 and Tiger in 2005 did the Augusta-St Andrews double in the same year so there is a precedent for Scheffler.

Scottish Open prep

To practise the links skills that could take him to glory at the Home of Golf, Scheffler announced on Tuesday that he plans to play the Scottish Open the week before the shootout at St Andrews. Once more, the event takes place at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian so Scheffler will have some useful course experience. He said: "I enjoyed the week at the Scottish Open last year and I'm looking forward to getting back to the Renaissance Club in July for the start of an exciting two weeks in Scotland. "I had heard a lot about the event and the Rolex Series before I played for the first time, and it lived up to it. A lot has happened for me since then, and I'm hoping to keep that good feeling going over the summer.

"Last year was my first trip to Scotland and I can't wait to play in front of the Scottish fans again, and hopefully see a bit more of this beautiful country."

Scottie Scheffler at the 2022 Masters
Scottie Scheffler at the 2022 Masters

In less press release mode, Scheffler said at the Scottish Open last year: "I like links golf. I like how you have to be a lot more creative. I felt like I haven't hit a lot of stock shots this week. It's a lot more fun I would say using the mounds and stuff to get the ball close to the hole versus making it airborne all the time. "I feel like I have a lot of options around here, which I like. I feel like I can always find a shot that I'm comfortable with. I feel like in the States, grain dictates a lot of what you have to do around the green and here, there's virtually no grain. You can kind of skip it or flop it or do whatever you like." A week later at Royal St George's he added: "I've always done well on courses that are firm and fast, and so I wasn't too worried about coming over to play links golf the first time. Just needed to figure out the bunkers and the grass around the greens." Joining Scheffler in both the Scottish Open and Open Championship will be another Masters winner, Jordan Spieth. It may be a smart move to have both on your shortlist when trying to predict the winner of this year's Claret Jug.

The article Scottie Scheffler reveals Open build-up plan in bid to emulate Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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