Scottie Scheffler’s caddies’ ill-advised bet with boss: ‘A very bad bet’

Scottie Scheffler and his caddy Ted Scott at the Players Championship.

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When Scottie Scheffler chipped for Eagle on the second par 5 hole in Round 3 of the Players Championship, the moment held a special meaning.

If you’ve been watching the NBC show, you probably know this, because when Scheffler missed the shot, reporter John Wood told viewers that Scheffler and his caddy Ted Scott had a friendly bet on how many times Scheffler would pot this season: If if he did it 10 times or more, Wood said, Scheffler would pocket a few bucks from his looper; less than 10 and Scott would collect. (For context, Scheffler had 11 holeouts last season, and the tour average was 6, according to ShotLink.)

Scheffler said the bet was Scott’s idea. “I can’t even remember exactly when that was,” said Scheffler on Sunday after his victory in the players. “But it was early last year when he said something about a certain number of holeouts for the year and I’ll tell you something at the end and it’s just a fun little thing for us out there on the course. I probably enjoy it a bit more than he does because I can get involved and he has me to thank for that. But, yeah, in a way, Ted is just Ted.”

Scott’s ill-advised bet? Jordan Spieth thought so.

“I’ll be honest, I think Teddy made a very bad bet,” Spieth said on Sunday after finishing with an even par 72 to wrap up T19. “I had it with Michael [Greller, his caddie], and we’ve had it before when we were 15 or 16. So I think Teddy will probably reevaluate it, considering it’s not even mid-March yet. It might actually be a good bet because it’s already over and he’s going to make a new one and win the press.

If Scott happened to press and this bet started on Sunday? Another bad news for Scott, because in the final round, Scheffler still needed all eight holes to play other Hole-Out: A chip-in from 34 feet on the par-3 8th place.

According to ShotLink, Scheffler’s holeout on Saturday was actually only his eighth of the 2022-23 season and Sunday’s his ninth, but whatever the number — and whatever the exact terms of his contract with Scott — Scheffler proved he had a nose for finding the bottom of the cup has green. Two seasons ago, Scheffler had 18 hole-outs. The year before he was 14.

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“It just looks a bit like a homebrew, which I think always works pretty well,” said Max Homa on Sunday about Scheffler’s touch on the greens. “Jordan is kind of similar. Obviously they have great mechanics, but it feels like they do it differently, meaning they usually own it a little bit more. I have a feeling he just knows what he’s going to do. He’s got this stinging weirdo. He’s got the really good kind of soft out of the rough. I feel like he’s just very artistic in that regard. … I have a feeling he sees them going in the hole.”

As successful as Scheffler and Spieth – who have hit 6 holeouts in 28 rounds so far this year – may be in their art form, they’ve come nowhere near the frontrunners of 2022-23. Leaders in this category are a couple of Bens – Byeong Hun An and Ben Griffin – each of whom has holed out a whopping 15 times this season. Her closest pursuers are a trio of players with a dozen holeouts: Seamus Power, Harris English and Aaron Baddeley. Of the 17 players with 10 or more holeouts, Baddeley has the best hole-out rate (HOR), completing the feat once every 3.16 rounds.

The Hole Out King? We award this title to Sungjae Im, who has led the Tour in this category twice in the last five seasons – 2018-19 and again in 2021-22. His record in these two seasons? Tough 25 hole outs. twenty five!

Good thing Scott isn’t caddy for him.

Since ShotLink began tracking holeouts in 2001, Im’s mark of 25 – which Ben Silverman (what’s the matter with Bens?) first reached in 2018-19 – remains the gold standard. But the most impressive HOR belongs to Rob Oppenheim, who took 65 rounds to hole out 22 times in 2019-20 for a stunning 2.6 HOR. Unfortunately for Oppenheim, the rest of his game this season hasn’t been as spot on; He missed 11 cuts from 21 starts and ranked 138th on the FedEx points list.

And Scheffler? He’s had far more success, of course, capitalizing on his heroic shots. His two holeouts at Sawgrass last week gave him a six-shot win and first place in the world rankings.


Alan Bastable Editor

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