Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Davis Love III was a model of consistency on the PGA Tour throughout his career. He won the PGA Championship with a great performance in 1997 at the age of 33, having previously fallen short at The Masters and the US Open. Love would have been hopeful of a long career at the top of the sport to add further crowns to his name, but it was not the case.
Unfortunately for him, he played in the era when Tiger Woods was at the peak of his powers, sweeping up huge numbers of majors. Love was part of the generation that could only watch and marvel at the brilliance of his compatriot. Perhaps Love would have been more successful in a different era. His story can be a lesson to golfers on the PGA Tour circuit now, none more so than Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler won The Masters with an accomplished display but followed it up by missing the cut at the PGA Championship. He is now backed at 12/1 in the odds for betting on US Open to bounce back from his underwhelming performance in the PGA Championship. Love’s example should be heeded by Scheffler, as although he was a fine player on the circuit, he never reached the pinnacle of a major again in his career.
Scheffler is in prime form and has stormed to the top of the world rankings this season due to his success on the PGA Tour along with the struggles of his rivals. He delivered an outstanding display at The Masters to win the Green Jacket, displaying a level of composure and brilliance that set him apart from the field. There was no other contender in the field that could match him over the four days at Augusta. However, he took a step back at the PGA Championship as perhaps the euphoria of winning his first major raised expectations to an uncomfortable level, but he is once again the leading contender for the US Open.
The 26-year-old took a welcome step back to form at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he only missed out on the crown to Sam Burns in a playoff. If the PGA Championship was only a blemish, then Scheffler should be in the running for the title. Unlike the past generation that Love had to endure, there is no Woods in the field that is winning almost every major on offer. The last man to win successive majors was Brooks Koepka in 2018, highlighting the competitive nature of the sport at the top level.
There is an opportunity for Scheffler to take control of golf amid his sparkling form and cash in with multiple crowns. Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy managed to win multiple majors at the peak of their powers, but have since gone through significant droughts, while Justin Thomas had to wait five years for his second major. If Love’s example is not proof enough, then Scheffler needs to look at his contemporaries to see the importance of winning while at your best.