Fact or Fiction: Scottie Scheffler Is the PGA Tour Player of the Year Already

SI Golf’s writers and editors debate the historic runs of Scheffler and Nelly Korda, plus the return of LIV Golf.
Apr 22, 2024; Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA; Scottie Scheffler acknowledges fans while he holds
Apr 22, 2024; Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA; Scottie Scheffler acknowledges fans while he holds / Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to SI Golf’s Fact or Fiction, where we’re not crazy to be entertaining Grand Slam odds for Scottie, and even wondering what they might be for Nelly. 

Once again, we’re here to debate a series of statements for writers and editors to declare as “Fact” or “Fiction” along with a brief explanation. Responses may also (occasionally) be “Neutral” since there's a lot of gray area in golf.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know on the SI Golf X account.

Scottie Scheffler won Monday at the RBC Heritage, dominating and completely brushing off any post-Masters hangover. Bernhard Langer was the last to win the week after a Masters title—in 1985. If the major was his best win of the season, Hilton Head was his second-best. 

Bob Harig: FACT. Winning the Players Championship will get some attention but a victory a week after capturing the Masters is above and beyond. It’s simply too difficult to come back a few days later and compete at the level needed to maintain what went so well at Augusta National. Not to mention … Harbour Town is such a different test of golf than Augusta National. That Scheffler was able to quickly adapt and keep it going is impressive.

John Pluym: FACT. Check out these two stats: In the last 20 years, only Tiger Woods averaged a tournament finish position in the top 10 after winning the Masters in 2002. And the record for most tournament victories after winning at Augusta in the same year is three, and Woods did it twice (2002, ’05), and Jordan Spieth did it in 2015. So, yes, Scheffler winning the RBC Heritage the week after the Masters is no ordinary feat. In fact, it’s actually quite extraordinary when you consider the stats above. 

Jeff Ritter: FACT: Scottie is on fire, and going right out and winning a week after the Masters is further proof that he’s on another level right now. The PGA Championship can’t get here fast enough. 

John Schwarb: FICTION. Becoming the first back-to-back Players champ, against the Tour’s deepest field on its flagship course, has to rank second in this run. But as Bob wrote Monday, not mailing it in at Harbour Town is still remarkable. Scottie is wired differently. 

Scheffler’s wife Meredith is due at the end of the month with the couple’s first child. The world No. 1 could take the rest of the year off as a new father and still win PGA Tour Player of the Year. 

Bob Harig: FACT.  Scheffler has won a major, the PGA Tour’s flagship event and two signature events. Nobody else on the PGA Tour has more than one victory at this point. Take Hideki Matsuyama, for example. He won the Genesis, a signature event. He’d need to add a major plus one of the remaining signature events (Wells Fargo, Memorial, Travelers) and ONE more win just to match Scheffler. And what win would be on the same level as the Players? So that suggests another signature event or a FedEx Cup playoff win. It’s possible someone wins a major and the FedEx Cup and gets consideration but it is difficult to see that at this point.

John Pluym: FACT. The only golfer on a hotter streak than Scheffler is Nelly Korda, and she plays on the LPGA Tour. I don’t see any golfer on the PGA Tour playing consistently well enough to overtake Scheffler for POY if Scheffler decided to pack it in for the rest of the season. Rory? Xander? Wyndham? Max? Tommy? Collin? It’s not even close right now.  

Jeff Ritter: FICTION. Scottie’s resume would be impressive, but the news cycle moves fast! Someone else—maybe Wyndham Clark, or Rory or Morikawa, for example—could snag one of the summer’s majors and cap the season with a FedEx Cup title just before voters go to the polls for POY. 

John Schwarb: FACT. Taking POY from Scheffler right now would likely require a half-dozen wins with two majors. Tough to see who’s doing that given the lackluster seasons by so many Tour “stars.” 

Nelly Korda won her fifth consecutive start at the Chevron Championship (for her second career major), tying five-win streaks by Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam. Hers is the most impressive.   

Bob Harig: FICTION. This is not to diminish Korda’s accomplishment, which is incredible. We are comparing remarkable achievements. But her winning early in the year, and then not playing for seven weeks, makes it harder to equate it to what Lopez and Sorenstam did. But we’re splitting hairs. Winning five tournaments—at all—is amazing.

John Pluym: FICTION. Here’s the thing: Is the LPGA Tour field better than when Lopez and Sorenstam were dominating? No. So, for now, the streak is impressive but let’s see if she can win a couple more in a row.

Nelly Korda jumps in the pond next to the 18th after winning the 2024 Chevron Championship.
The LPGA's best player also has excellent cannonball form. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Ritter: FACT. Today’s LPGA draws from a worldwide pool of the best players the world has ever known. It’s a much more global tour than in the days of Lopez, and even Annika. It’s tough to win, even if Nelly is currently making it look easy. 

John Schwarb: FICTION. Sorenstam’s five, like Korda’s, was capped with a win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now Chevron). But she won that by eight shots, one of many tournaments in which she was the best by a wide margin. 

LIV Golf returns this week with a two-week swing through Australia and Singapore. Jon Rahm will get his first win at one of the two stops.     

Bob Harig: FACT. Rahm had a bad Masters but that happened to a lot of players. He started strong at LIV with a couple of early close calls and he’s too good to let this linger for long. Either place seems a good spot to get the first win and some momentum heading into the PGA Championship.

John Pluym: FICTION. It might take a pair of low-pressure stops for Rahm to win after the defending Masters champion stunk it up during the first major of the year. And he looks like a guy who is enjoying a $450 million payday and has settled into playing 54-hole tournaments. 

Jeff Ritter: FICTION. Rahm appeared lost and ticked off leaving Augusta. But is he just going to throw the switch on his golf game? I’d expect him to win somewhere on LIV this year, but I’m skeptical that it’s coming soon. He has some work to do. 

John Schwarb: FACT. As great as it is to return to the Masters as the defending champion, there was a lot more baked into it for Rahm as a LIV guy and it didn’t appear easy on or off the course. He can exhale with that behind him and these are a pair of low-pressure stops for the Spaniard to get a W.

SI Golf staff