Scottie Scheffler: U.S. Open golf is a 'mental torture chamber'

Scottie Scheffler posted his fourth consecutive round over par on Saturday, something he's never done before in his career

PINEHURST, N.C. — Coming into the week, Scottie Scheffler was an overwhelming favorite at the U.S. Open, so much so that he was edging into Scottie-versus-the-field territory. But after a workover from Pinehurst No. 2, Scheffler is no longer looking quite so dominant. Matter of fact, he's looking more than a little rattled.

"Another frustrating day," Scheffler said after his round. "Today was a day where I thought I played a lot better than my score."

His score ended up being a three-bogey, two-birdie 1-over round to leave him at 6-over for the tournament, 11 strokes behind leader Ludvig Åberg as Scheffler left the course. Scheffler struggled with all phases of his game at one time or another, but one element in particular perplexed him.

"I'm having a lot of trouble reading these greens," he said. "I had a lot of putts today where I felt like I hit it really good. I looked up and they were not going the way I thought they were going to go."

The numbers bear him out. Scheffler lost 1.52 strokes putting to the field, ranking 56th out of the 74-man field. His 1.91 putts per hole ranks tied for 65th in the field with Brooks Koepka.

Rough week for Scottie Scheffler. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
It's been a rough week for Scottie Scheffler at Pinehurst No. 2. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

"The game of golf is a mental torture chamber at times," Scheffler said, "especially the U.S. Open."

Scheffler's plans until he tees off on Sunday to close out his major sound, honestly, pretty ideal: "Hit the gym this afternoon, pack up, put my feet up for the rest of the day, hang out with my little man and my wife," he said. "I'll show up tomorrow morning ready to play. Like I said, I'll go to the gym today, wake up in the morning, get ready to come out to the course again, see if I can learn."

One facet that Scheffler knows will have to change: his pre-major preparation. He won last week at the Memorial, and while he appreciated the victory, he understands that it may have come at a cost.

"In terms of prep work for a week that I know is going to be as tough as this, I'm leaning going forward to maybe not playing the week before. I think especially going around Jack's place [Muirfield], which is going to be pretty close," he said. "I think going into the major championships, especially the ones we know are going to be really challenging, it may be in my best interest not to play the week before."

For now, regardless of how Sunday plays out, Scheffler has one more major to go, and a whole lot of time to get back to his winning form.