RBC Heritage: Hurricane Scottie Scheffler deferred thanks to inclement weather

Scottie Scheffler began the day at the RBC Heritage clinging to a one-shot lead over Sepp Straka. But like a category five hurricane bound to destroy everything in its path, Scheffler annihilated his competition for the second consecutive Sunday.

He owns a five-shot lead at Harbour Town, where inclement weather suspended play for two-and-a-half hours on Sunday. As a result, Scheffler and a handful of others will finish their last couple holes first thing Monday morning.

“Relaxed for a while this afternoon. We got pretty soaked,” Scheffler said afterward.

“But we stayed patient, found a place to relax in the clubhouse, hung out, and just tried to stay ready to play for most of today.”

Before any weather rolled in, Scheffler began his final round with two massive momentum boosts on the first and second holes.

At the par-4 1st, Scheffler drained a 6-footer for par, keeping his slim lead intact. Then, he increased his lead to three thanks to a chip-in eagle on the par-5 2nd.

“I hit a really good shot into the green on the 2nd hole, and I felt like it was unfortunate to end up in that spot back there over the green,” Scheffler said.

“But I was able to hit a nice little bump-and-run in there. It was nice, coming in at the right speed, and I was happy to get the ball up and down, but I was definitely fortunate to see it going in. It was pretty close to where I wanted to land it. I don’t really look at a landing spot, but the way I imagined the chip, it came out of the grass the way I thought it would, and it skipped into the hill like I was hoping it would.”

Another birdie at the par-5 5th hole followed, and suddenly, not even a third of the way into his final round, Scheffler sat at 19-under par.

Then, Wyndham Clark, who had climbed to 17-under thanks to a front nine 29, rocked a shot out-of-bounds off of a tree, which dropped him out of contention. Patrick Rodgers, another player who was 17-under at the time, made a mess of things on the 7th and 8th holes, as he dropped three shots within that span.

As a result, Scheffler held a commanding four-shot lead when he arrived at the par-3 7th.

Scottie Scheffler, RBC Heritage

Scottie Scheffler eyes a putt on the 5th hole.
Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

He then played his next few holes at even par, showing no signs of relinquishing his stranglehold on the tournament. Scheffler remained at 19-under through the delay.

When he returned to the course, the field faced a much different golf course. The temperature had dropped severely, the wind picked up, and the greens had softened. That did not impact Scheffler, however, as he made another birdie at the short par-4 13th.

But then, at the par-5 15th, Scheffler made an uncharacteristic mistake. Attempting to lay up, he duck-hooked his second shot into the pond—a complete shock to the system.

“I felt like I got a bad break there in the fairway,” Scheffler said.

“I haven’t had to hit a shot like that in a long time, so I figured there must have been mud on the bottom of the ball.”

He still managed to get up and down to save par in what turned out to be his final hole of the day.

“I felt like the par was pretty important tonight, just being able to go to sleep and still keeping a clean card,” Scheffler said.

RBC Heritage

Scottie Scheffler takes a drop on the 15th hole.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I hit a really nice shot in there, so I felt like I had good momentum. I kind of knew what the putt was doing. I felt like today was a day where I hit a lot of really good putts and they weren’t really dropping. I felt like I was due for one to drop. So I figured might as well hit it now.”

Remarkably, Scheffler has not dropped a shot since the third hole of the tournament on Thursday, when he doubled the par-4 3rd. He has gone 66 holes without a blemish on his card.

But now he has the opportunity to win for the fourth time in five starts, an incredible feat not accomplished since Tiger Woods did so in 2007. Like Scheffler’s run, that stretch included a major championship, as Woods won his 13th major at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills amid that span.

Alas, it looks all but sure that Scheffler will go from winning a Green Jacket to a plaid one in back-to-back weeks, further asserting himself as a powerful force that would make a hurricane jealous.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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