Last weekend at the WGC-Match Play, Scottie Scheffler, priced at 16-1, became the first player to win a PGA Tour event after finishing runner-up the previous year since Dustin Johnson did it at the Masters in 2020. With the victory, Scheffler moves to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, becoming the 25th player to reach the top spot and the sixth-youngest since the rankings debuted in 1986. In group play, Scheffler went 2-1 (wins over Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick and a loss to Tommy Fleetwood) and had to beat Fitzpatrick on the sixth extra hole to advance. Once reaching the knockout stage, Scheffler earned some payback by taking out Billy Horschel, who defeated him in last year's final, then defeated Seamus Power, Johnson and 2019 champion Kevin Kisner in the championship match. Scheffler also became the first player to win three events before the Masters since Johnson and Justin Thomas did it in the 2016-2017 season.
Scheffler will skip the penultimate event leading up to Augusta, but a solid field is in place for the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, about 90 minutes south of last week’s event in Austin. Favorite Rory McIlroy (15-2), who skipped the Match Play, makes his first appearance in this tournament since 2013. Jordan Spieth (14-1) failed to make it out of group play last week but returns to defend his 2021 Texas Open title. Corey Conners (18-1), who made the Match Play semifinals and finished third, won his first PGA Tour event at the 2019 Texas Open after emerging from a six-man playoff in the Monday qualifier. That victory also earned him the last spot in that year’s Masters field. Speaking of the Masters, Hideki Matsuyama (18-1) took last week off but will look to tune up this week for his title defense at Augusta. Abraham Ancer (22-1) made the quarterfinals last week with victories over Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, and Collin Morikawa before bowing out to Conners.