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SBNation.com – All Posts: Scottie Scheffler’s epic, 196-yard hole out on 17 vaults him up U.S. Open leaderboard


123rd U.S. Open Championship, Scottie Scheffler
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

The number one ranked player, Scottie Scheffler, in the world relied on his superior ball-striking to put himself in contention in the 2023 U.S. Open.

Scottie Scheffler is the best ball striker in the world, and he proved it on the 17th hole Saturday at the Los Angeles Country Club.

From 196 yards out, Scheffler launched his shot high into the air, got an excellent first bounce, and then rolled right into the bottom of the hole for an eagle two.

It’s the only eagle recorded this week on the 16th, 17th, or 18th holes—the most challenging stretch at LACC.

Are you serious Scottie?!

Scheffler holes out for EAGLE from 196 yards on the 17th!

: @NBC & @peacock | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/LoyVrsn1ca

— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) June 18, 2023

When Scheffler struck his second on 17, he sat at 4-under par. But you can never count out the 2022 Masters Champion, as he leaped to 6-under with his deuce on the penultimate hole.

On the 18th hole, Scheffler poured in a 22-footer for birdie to finish his third round at the U.S. Open with a two and a three.

“I was fighting all day today, trying to just get myself back in position, starting the day six or seven shots back or whatever it was,” Scheffler said after his round. “I am just trying to make some birdies and avoid the bogeys.”

Scheffler, who has struggled with his putter this season, made just 23 feet of putts on the front nine combined, per Justin Ray of The Athletic. He even missed a four-footer on the 15th hole—the shortest par-3 in U.S. Open history.

Yet, when he signed his card after the round, Scheffler’s score totaled a 2-under 68, the third sub-70 round he has recorded this week.

“I hit a nice drive [on 17], and the shot goes in, and [that is] a huge boost,” Scheffler added. “Then I hit another two good shots into 18, nail the putt, and all of a sudden instead of seven shots back I’m only four. So definitely a huge momentum boost going into tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll just keep it rolling.

“But I’m just going to go home, get some sleep, and then just get ready for tomorrow’s round.”

He sits at 7-under for the championship heading into Sunday and will be joined by Rory McIlroy in the second-to-last group

Scottie Scheffler, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 15: Scottie Scheffler of The United States 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 in Los Angeles, California.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scheffler, the number one ranked player in the world, has the lowest scoring average—68.7—since the beginning of March.

The former Texas Longhorn has been a staple on major championship leaderboards as of late, as he has relied on his superior ball striking to put himself in condition.

Since the start of 2021, 43 rounds of major championship golf have been played, including the first three rounds this week. Scheffler has sat among the top 10 after 27 of those rounds—63%—the most of any player during that span, per Elias Sports.

Perhaps Scheffler comes from behind Sunday and wins his second major championship. He has the game to do so.

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