Scottie Scheffler teed it up on the PGA Tour Thursday morning for the first time since Rory McIlroy ascended to world No. 1, which knocked the former Longhorn out of the top spot.
Scheffler fared well in his first round since falling to world No. 2, pairing six birdies with no bogeys for an opening 65 at El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course.
It appears the Masters champion has an affinity for the layout after backing up last year’s fourth-place finish with another solid round.
“I think when you're hitting the ball well here, you're going to get a ton of looks,” Scheffler said. “I mean, the fairways are very narrow, but there's a little bit of space. Really, you've just got to keep the ball in play. If you're hitting fairways off the tee, the golf course will really open up for you.”
Scheffler did well to keep the ball in play the majority of the day, taking just one penalty after an errant tee shot at the par-4 3rd hole, which was Scheffler’s 12th hole of the day. It didn’t ruin a clean scorecard, however, as he was able to get up-and-down after his drop to save par.
It was a star-studded pairing this morning in Mexico, as Scheffler was in the same group as two-time defending champion Viktor Hovland, who also opened with a 65.
Scheffler was asked about the pairing after both players got off to good starts.
“For the most part you're doing your own thing, but it's nice when you're on the golf course and you can see other players hitting really good shots,” Scheffler said. “I think that's good kind of momentum for the group, when somebody starts playing well, the other guys can kind of feed off of it sometimes.”
A win for Scheffler this week would mean more than just another trophy. According to OWGR guru @Nosferatu on Twitter, a win or a second-place finish would vault the four-time Tour winner back to world No. 1 just weeks after losing the crown to McIlroy.