The tingle of expectation, the giddy clamour of anticipation, the mouth-frothing frenzy of excitement and the inevitable, crushing anti-climax? And that’s just the brow-mopping rollercoaster of emotions the sports editor goes through as he pores over my Tuesday column.

The build-up, and subsequent car crash, of Scotland’s final group game of Euro 2024, meanwhile, was even more delirious and deflating.

“No, your column was far worse,” countered said sports editor as he gazed at my latest offering with the kind of strained rictus you’d adopt when peering at Steve Clarke’s tactics board.

Oh well, onwards and upwards, eh? Or in the Scottish fitba’ team’s case, backwards and sideways.

As for Scottie Scheffler? Well, it’s business as usual as the world No 1 rattled off his sixth victory of an extraordinary season at an eventful Travelers Championship.

Even a late invasion of Extinction Rebellion activists onto the 18th green couldn’t ruffle Scheffler’s feathers. “No golf on a dead planet,” was the portentous message from the protestors.

Given the wild harrumphing that’s generated by members when the greenkeeper puts the ‘course closed’ sign up during a spell of bad weather, one can only imagine the grunts of dismay from Cammy, Ronnie and Bill when the secretary  informs them that they can’t have their usual three-ball because the planet’s deid.

Knowing club golfers and their stubborn, creature-of-habit ways, they’d find a place for 18-holes somewhere amid the apocalypse. But I digress.

Scheffler’s play-off win over Tom Kim at TPC River Highlands on Sunday saw him accumulate the most wins before the month of July on the PGA Tour since Arnold Palmer plundered a good half-dozen in 1962. Palmer made it seven when he won The Open at Troon. And where’s this year’s Open being held? You can nip to the bookies now.

Scheffler’s consistent, commanding run has been astounding but, as we’re all aware, you never know what those golfing gods have in store.

Nelly Korda, for instance, was in the midst of an even more dominant surge of form when she won five straight titles and six in seven starts on the LPGA Tour. Winning seemed easy. It never is, though.

Since then, she has missed her last three cuts with two of those six rounds being in the 80s, including an 81 in last weekend’s Women’s PGA Championship.

Golf, at any level, has a startling ability to bring you crashing back down to earth with the sobering thud of an insipid Scotland performance in a must-win match. It’s a fickle business.

Given all the noise and nonsense that has consumed men’s golf in this turbulent, LIV-disrupted era, there’s a sense that Scheffler’s accomplishments over the last couple of years have not been given the recognition they truly deserve. Undervalued? Perhaps. But unrivalled? There's no doubt.

Scheffler is a truly great golfer but in a world obsessed with celebrity razzmatazz, click-bait and online hits, the 27-year-old, in many eyes, is viewed as dull, boring and uninspiring and doesn’t have the X-factor of a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy. It’s grossly unfair but this is where we are in these times when style is favoured over substance and chutzpah is preferred to class.

As Woods limps towards the end of his career, and golf continues to struggle with the impending reality of life without him, Scheffler just doesn’t cut the mustard with some folk.

You’d think the wholesome, down-to-earth Scheffler would be the perfect man to be on top of the golfing world as an antidote to the poison of greed and entitlement that has sullied the game’s reputation over the past couple of seasons. Being brilliant at what he does on the course, however, is not enough.

Scheffler, a devout Christian who married his childhood sweetheart, is not one to step out of line – well, apart from being erroneously arrested during a chaotic PGA Championship the other month – nor is he prone to delivering controversial comment or bursting into wild histrionics if that pesky ball he hits for a living doesn’t do what it’s telt.

The peculiar, and perhaps lamentable, thing is that someone like Tyrrell Hatton probably gets more traction and crass championing on social media for regular bouts of effing and blinding on the course than Scheffler does for actually winning.

Scheffler, of course, won’t be in the least bit bothered about that. The reigning Masters champion just gets on with doing what he does best. It’s a shame, though, that what Scheffler does is not deemed worthy of wider acclaim.


And they’re off. With The Open looming on the horizon, the journey towards Royal Troon for almost 1900 golfers started yesterday in the 18-hole regional qualifying shoot-out.

Get through that and all you need to do is negotiate a 36-hole final qualifier next week where only around 16 Troon tee-times will be on offer across four different venues. Piece of cake, eh?

Yesterday’s regional scramble took place at 15 courses throughout the UK and Ireland and featured the usual eclectic mix of amateurs, clubs professionals, has-beens, never-have-beens and never-will-bes.

For a select few who progressed, the dream is still alive. For those intrepid campaigners, meanwhile, who scribbled down 91s and 92s on the card, the dream is over for another 12 months. There’s always next year.

When it comes to The Open, some golfers never stop dreaming.