LOS ANGELES — Scottie Scheffler is still ranked No. 1 in the world, but he hasn’t won in more than three months, and it isn’t difficult to figure out why.
Scheffler — who picked up his first four PGA Tour victories last year, including the Masters, then won the WM Phoenix Open in February and the Players Championship in March — ranks 148th out of 198 tour players in strokes gained: putting (-.231) this season.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see Scheffler working with a new putter on the practice green of Los Angeles Country Club on Monday. He wouldn’t say if he was going to use the new putter — a Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Plus, according to Golf.com — in this week’s U.S. Open.
“You guys can find out Thursday,” Scheffler told reporters on Tuesday.
Scheffler said the new putter he is testing looks like the one he has been using but is bigger.
“I don’t ever take decisions on switching equipment lightly,” Scheffler said. “I think it’s strange that I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with my putter. … I mean, sometimes you just got to bring another putter around there to make the original one scared. I’ve never really been one to try and overthink things, so I try and keep things as simple as possible.”
With how stellar the rest of Scheffler’s game is at the moment, he might have to do something different on the greens. Two weeks ago, at The Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, Scheffler gained 20.74 strokes from tee to green on the field over four rounds. According to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, it was the second-best mark in that statistic on the PGA Tour in the past 20 years.
Scheffler also finished dead-last in the field at The Memorial in strokes gained: putting, losing 8.58 strokes. He still finished solo third at 6 under at Muirfield Village, 1 stroke out of a playoff that was won by Norway’s Viktor Hovland.
“Putting is such a weird thing,” Scheffler said. “Sometimes when you’re on the green, when you feel good you feel like you’re never going to miss, and then sometimes when you feel terrible you feel like you’re never going to make (any putts). Putting is just so different than the rest of the game, so when it comes to putters, it’s all personal.”
It’s not like Scheffler has been playing poorly. He has finished in the top 12 in each of his past 16 starts and in the top five in each of the past four. He tied for 10th at the Masters and for second at the PGA Championship.
Scheffler leads the tour in shots gained: total (2.544), shots gained: off the tee (1.096), shots gained: approach the green (1.207) and shots gained: tee to green (2.775).