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Struggling Brian Harman Honestly Wishes Scottie Scheffler ‘Doesn’t Play’ RBC Heritage: ‘He Didn’t Bite’

Published 04/17/2024, 5:30 AM EDT

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Brian Harman almost wishes it didn’t happen. Not Scottie Scheffler winning the Masters. Perhaps that was inevitable. But the reigning Open Champion wished Scheffler wasn’t in the RBC Heritage field right after earning his second major title. “There’s lots of parts of me that hope he doesn’t play,” Harman, who is playing at RBC Heritage after crashing out of the Masters, quipped. And he didn’t stop at that.

Now Scheffler has been accused of many things. Playing ‘boring’ golf. Being boring as a person. Most recently, he’s also been accused of not carrying the Masters TV ratings on his broad shoulders. However, Harman’s statement exemplified his cultivated personality, which has made him an unparalleled talent.

Harman wanted to rattle Scheffler. He wouldn’t buzz.

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Harman, a University of Georgia alum, was picking on Scheffler when he first came on the Tour. The former Texas Longhorn was a 23-year-old rookie. Harman was trying to needle him and get him to react. But he didn’t succeed. 

I can remember when he first came out he, I was razzing him about Texas football. I was trying to get a reaction out of him. Wouldn’t give it to me. I was joking with him. I was impressed that he didn’t bite on that.

Again, in 2020, Scheffler and Harman were paired together for the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The world no. 1 opened with a 79. Harman with a 71. There was no chance for Scheffler to make the cut. Yet, going into the second round, the nine-time PGA Tour winner shot 65. He didn’t qualify for Saturday, but Harman, who again carded 71 to crash out as well, was impressed. 

via Reuters

I felt like most guys that were first-year, they would have kind of mailed it in, but he just went through his routine and shot a great score. Scottie’s success has not surprised me. He’s got like the perfect mental strength and demeanor to do what he’s doing.” So, the three-time PGA Tour winner is not surprised at what Scottie Scheffler is doing. In fact, he doesn’t have any qualms about accepting that Scheffler is miles ahead of most PGA Tour pros.

The gap between Scottie Scheffler and the rest is widening

Scheffler is gaining almost a stroke (SG: Total 2.812) more per round than the next best, Xander Schauffele (1.934). The two-time Major champion has reached 416 greens in regulation from 558. That’s a whopping 74.55% GIR. The Tour average is 65.28%. 

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Moreover, at Augusta, Scottie Scheffler gained 4.12 strokes tee-to-green. His final-round competitors, Tommy Fleetwood, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Ludvig Aberg, and Bryson DeChambeau, were all below 2.30. Harman was asked if the gap looked as large from the inside as well. 

Feels that way from the inside, looking out too,” Harman admited without any second thought. “I’m sure the guys felt the same way when Tiger was winning every tournament that he stepped foot on. It feels like right now that if Scottie shows up with anything above a B game, he’s probably going to be right there,” the 37-year-old told the media.

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Ironically, only a few weeks ago, Rory McIlroy echoed similar sentiments. Scheffler was receiving criticism for his putting. The four-time Major winner said a mallet putter might do the job for World No. 1. But he also pointed out that that would mean Scheffler would be in a different stratosphere if that happened. It seems McIlroy’s words were a prophecy.

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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One take at a time

Parnab Bhattacharya is a Beat Writer at EssentiallySports in the Golf Division. With four years of writing experience, he is now exploring his deep-rooted love for the gentleman’s sport. Parnab's area of expertise is his predictive and perspective pieces, where he explores all things golf, diving deep into the whys and whats behind players' and Tours' moves in the sport, and unflinchingly voicing his take.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira

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