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SBNation.com – All Posts: Scottie Scheffler puts putting yips behind him; in 3rd place after first round at U.S. Open


Scottie Scheffler, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
LOS ANGELES — Scottie Scheffler putts on the 11th hole during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023. | Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

The number one ranked player in the world has struggled with the putter lately, but Scheffler put those woes behind him Thursday at the U.S. Open.

Over the past month, Scottie Scheffler’s putter has abandoned him.

But Scheffler’s flat stick showed up at the Los Angeles Country Club—at least for the first round of the 2023 U.S. Open.

He carded an opening round 3-under 67, as he sits five behind Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, who fired record-breaking 62s.

“The greens were softer than I thought they’d be this morning,” Scheffler said in his post-round press conference. “It played kind of how I thought it would. There were some gettable pins today.”

After bogeying his opening hole, Scheffler made seven straight pars before birdieing the par-3 9th.

He hit his tee shot to about six feet and made the putt for his first birdie of the day.

“I rolled it nice and saw some putts go in,” Scheffler said. “[Overall], the scores were a bit lower than I imagined them to be. But going out early on Thursday, it’s the easiest conditions you’re going to see most of the week.”

Scottie Scheffler, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES — Scottie Scheffler plays his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023.

At the easy par-4 10th, Scheffler poured in a 17-footer for his second straight birdie.

His putter did not cool off there.

At 12, Scheffler made a 19-footer for birdie to get himself to 2-under for the championship.

Then Scheffler stuck a wedge to nine feet on 15, the shortest hole on the golf course and one of LACC’s iconic par-3s. He proceeded to walk in the putt for a birdie two.

Scheffler went on the birdie the 16th hole, which measures 529 yards—one of the longest holes in U.S. Open history.

He bogeyed 18, but was still happy with his round.

“Had a little hiccup there at the last but can’t complain,” Scheffler said. “I hit a lot of good shots today, and I did a good job of staying patient out there and posted a good number on a day in which I got off to a pretty slow start.”

Despite his blunder on 18, Scheffler ranks 13th in the field in strokes gained putting, a far cry from the Memorial Tournament, where he ranked dead last in that very statistic.

If Scheffler continues to putt like this, he will contend throughout the weekend.

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