The Punter

The Punter's De-brief: Scheffler backed to win US Open after Memorial triumph

Golfer Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler with the Memorial Tournament trophy

Scottie Scheffler hung on to win the memorial Tournament but there was an almighty collapse on the DP World Tour. Steve Rawlings looks back on all the drama...

  • Scheffler holds his nerve to make it six from nine

  • Soderberg crumbles as Linn breaks records

  • Read my US Open preview here

Having led the Memorial Tournament by three strokes at halfway and by four after 54 holes, the world number one, Scottie Scheffler, didn't have it all his own way on Sunday at Muirfield Village.

The first-round leader, Adam Hadwin, was matched at 5.59/2 when he got to within a stroke of the leader before the turn but his third birdie of the day at the seventh was followed by back-to-back bogeys and after a slow start, it was the course specialist, Collin Morikawa who emerged as the only real threat to Scheffler on the back-nine.

Morikawa was matched at a low of 2.8415/8 after he got to within a stroke with a birdie at the par three 12th and what had looked like being a dull ending to the event turned into a fascinating finale.

The pair parred their way through holes 13 to 15 before both looked in trouble at the revamped par three 16th but when Scheffler drained this par save from around 16 feet it looked like it might finally be a done deal. But it wasn't...

Scheffler followed that great par save with a missed par putt at 17 from just eight feet and his lead was back down to one but he kept his cool superbly on the 72nd hole.

Both men missed the green, but both got up-and down for par and Scheffler now heads to Pinehurst for the US Open in search of his sixth win in nine starts.

Having been generally a 5.24/1 chance before the off at Muirfield, Scheffler is trading at slightly shorter (4.6) to win at Pinehurst.

Sorry Soderberg collapses in Sweden

Over on the DP World Tour, Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg began the final round of the Scandinavian Mixed leading by eight and trading at 1.051/20.

Nobody had ever let a lead that big slip on the DP World Tour and the pre-event 19.018/1 second favourite didn't look too short at that price.

Soderberg started his fourth round nicely enough with a pair of pars and he was matched at just 1.031/33 when he birdied the third but it all changed after that.

None of his nearest rivals put up much of a challenge but, having started her fourth round an hour and 15 minutes before Soderberg, the 2022 winner Linn Grant made a move.

Having been matched at between 150.0149/1 and 880.0879/1 after her two-over-par third round, and having been generally a 380.0379/1 chance on the Exchange before the final round, Grant was matched in running on Sunday at a high of 420.0419/1. But she soon emerged as the only danger to the leader.

Linn played her first 10 holes of round four in six under-par but after a run of seven straight pars, this chip-in birdie at the 18th still left her three shots shy of Soderberg, who had seven holes to play.

Soderberg dropped shots at 13 and 15 but a brilliant up-and-down for par at 16 in the worst of the weather looked to have calmed him down and when he hit a great tee-shot at the par three 17th to within 19 feet, it looked like he may have overcome his nerves.

Linn had been matched at 3.02/1 but her price drifted all the way out 90.089/1 as Soderberg was backed back in to 1.041/25. But those who took the very long odds-on so late in the day soon knew their fate.

After parring 17, Soderberg hit a great drive on 18 but a dreadful approach saw him plugged in a greenside bunker and what happened after that was hard to watch.

Needing to hole from 25 feet for par and the win, Soderberg left his putt for a four short by 15 inches before incredibly missing the bogey putt to take the event into extra-time.

A cacophony of gasps greeted Soderberg's incredible miss and even the winner was shocked at the poor man's misfortune.

In addition to becoming the first woman to win twice on the DP World Tour, Linn's 11-stroke comeback win trumped Paul Lawrie's 10-stroke comeback at the Open Championship in 1999 and Jamie Spence's at the European Masters back in 1992. Linn's now the biggest comeback victory ever on the DP World Tour.

Quite where poor Soderberg goes from here is anyone's guess but I for one will be cheering him on. He's going to do very well to overcome yesterday's monumental collapse and find a way to win.

Read my US Open preview here

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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