Until a few weeks ago, Scottie Scheffler was one of those players who you couldn’t believe hadn’t won on the PGA Tour yet.
Now, suddenly, he is a two-time winner and up to No5 in the world rankings – but anyone who has been watching his progress won’t be surprised.
Having got his first victory last month at the WM Phoenix Open, Scheffler made it two in 21 days by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday.
The floodgates have opened and the 25-year-old American is now the man of the moment, the hottest player on the tour.
I’ve enjoyed watching him on TV since he joined the PGA Tour in 2020 but got a closer look at last year’s Open Championship.
I walked a few holes with him at Royal St George’s and he was even more impressive in person. He is a beautiful player as well as a hard worker.
Scheffler has a wonderful golfing brain. He showed at Bay Hill how well he plots his way around a course. He doesn’t take on stupid shots but is aggressive when he needs to be.
This was a huge win for him as the season ramps up with The Players Championship this week and, in a month’s time, the Masters.
Scheffler’s recent success has definitely catapulted him into the bracket of major contenders. Self-belief is 90 per cent of golf, and he is a different man now.
Classy Hatton looks a major contender
It was hard going at Bay Hill, where Scheffler won on five under par and only two players shot rounds in the 60s on Sunday.
If you miss the fairway you’re in trouble, but I always believe that’s the way courses should be set up.
I did feel for Gary Woodland, though. Having taken the lead with an eagle at 16 he then finished with a double bogey and bogey. He must be sick.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton had a great week, bouncing back from a 78 on Saturday with a 69 in his final round for a share of second place.
Hatton is such a classy player and I’m a big fan, as regular readers will know. That’s his third top 10 finish in four events this year and he’s a definite major contender in my book.
Viktor Hovland also battled back after a difficult third round to tie for second with Hatton and joint overnight leader Billy Horschel.
Hovland led after 36 holes and looked like he might make it four victories in his last eight tournaments but it wasn’t to be. Even he can’t win them all.
The Norwegian is up to No3 in the world, however, and showed with another aggressive performance why he is so exciting to watch.
Rory McIlroy set the pace with a 65 on Thursday but finished with two rounds of 76 and frustrated at the course.
World No1 Jon Rahm, one shot further back in a tie for 17th, seems to be letting himself down with his putting at the moment. He’s good enough to turn that around quickly.
And it was another good week for Matt Fitzpatrick, who recorded his third consecutive top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.
Wu has reason to cheer in Kenya
Elsewhere, Wu Ashun outclassed the opposition to win the Kenya Open on the DP World Tour.
Wu came from four behind to win by four with a closing 65 at a tournament I played a few times myself.
It was a great fourth win on the tour for him, while England’s David Horsey had a good week, finishing fifth.
Attention now turns to Sawgrass for The Players, the unofficial fifth major. Like the Masters, it’s on an iconic course and is a fixture in the golf calendar.
It is also a reminder that Augusta is just around the corner, which is hugely exciting for golf fans and players alike.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him @torrancesam