Spotlight on: Scottie Scheffler at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

The American is still looking for a first win on the PGA Tour but will have home-state advantage in Texas this week.

It's easy to forget that Scottie Scheffler has played just two full seasons on the PGA Tour.

The smooth-swinging 25-year-old has already become part of the furniture on Major championship leaderboards.

And a couple of months ago he made his Ryder Cup debut, ending the week unbeaten after two wins and a half.

One of those wins was a 4&3 victory over World No.1 Jon Rahm in the singles.

And yet, Scheffler is still missing something very obvious from his CV: he's yet to post a win on the PGA Tour.

Could this be the week when it changes? It certainly looks a good opportunity given that Scheffler is a Texas local and the tournament is taking place in Houston.

Let's take a look at his year and the ways to back him.

Scheffler in 2021

With competition so great to get a place on the US Ryder Cup team, Scheffler must clearly have had plenty of highs to have been part of Team USA.

Overall, he's pegged it up in 27 events and made the top 10 in a third of those.

Those nine top 10s include four finishes of tied fifth or better.

Perhaps most impressive of all is his collective work in the Majors.

Scheffler was tied 18th in the Masters, tied eighth in the PGA Championship, tied seventh in the US Open and tied eighth at Royal St. George's on his Open Championship debut.

His latest big performance came only last week when he bagged a tie for fourth in the World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico.

Scheffler in Texas

Scheffler's best finish this year is a second place at the WGC-Dell World Match Play where he lost to Billy Horschel in the final.

The significance of that is that the tournament was played in Texas - Scheffler's home state.

Does that suggest he always raises his game in front of his home fans?

Well, not exactly.

In his nine other PGA Tour starts in Texas, Scheffler's best finish is only tied 20th (2019 Texas Open).

Scottie Scheffler has't found his best stuff in recent Texas events.
Scottie Scheffler has't found his best stuff in recent Texas events.

Although he shone in the Match Play, his other three finishes in Texas this year read 54-67-MC.

Scheffler in round one

While his overall finishes in Texas strokeplay events are somewhat lacklustre, Scheffler has at least made fast starts a couple of times.

In last year's Houston Open at this week's venue (Memorial Park Golf Course) he fired an opening 67 to lie second after round one.

He also claimed a place on the early leaderboard at April's Texas Open with a 67 good enough for tied seventh after 18 holes.

In general, he comes out of the blocks quick. Looking at his last eight worldwide events, he's ended day one in the top nine on four occasions.

Scheffler in a 72-hole match-up

PlanetSportBet has put Scheffler in a match bet alongside Sam Burns and he's the Even money underdog.

The duo have teed it up in the same event 32 times since the start of 2020 and Burns has shot the lowest score 18 times to Scheffler's 13. There has been one tie.

Sam Burns has outperformed Scheffler in recent times.
Sam Burns has outperformed Scheffler in recent times.

Notably, Burns has outscored Scheffler in five of the last six tournaments (other a tie) the duo have played.

Scheffler in a R1 three-ball

Scheffler tees off on Thursday from the 10th hole alongside fellow American Cameron Tringale and Canada's Roger Sloan.

That trio have played the same event nine times in 2021 and, looking at round one scores, Tringale has had the edge.

Tringale has shot the lowest first-day number fives times, Scheffler three times and Sloan never (one tie).

Conclusion

Scheffler is in good nick after last week's top four but, for now, he looks a better bet in the first-round leader market at 28/1 than the outright at 16/1.

The numbers also suggest he's worth taking on in a 72-hole match bet against the very in-form Sam Burns.

READ MORE: Spotlight on Marc Leishman in the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

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