Scottie Scheffler entered the week as a strong favorite at the U.S. Open, almost reaching the point where it seemed like it was Scottie versus everyone else. However, after facing the challenges at Pinehurst No. 2, Scheffler's dominance has waned.

The reigning Masters champion, Scheffler appears visibly unsettled and unusually out of control.

He finished the round at 1-over, marked by three bogeys and two birdies, putting him at 6-over for the tournament and trailing leader Ludvig Åberg by 11 strokes when he exited the course. Scheffler faced challenges across all aspects of his game, although one aspect in particular left him puzzled.

Scottie Scheffler's troubles

Scottie Scheffler lines up a putt on the 17th green during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports
Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports

Despite several missteps, Scheffler maintained solid drives overall but faced challenges on and around the greens. His difficulties peaked with a disastrous double bogey at the par-five fifth hole. Trying to chip onto the green from the native area, his third shot gained him mere inches as the ball caught a slope and rolled back to his feet.

“I'm having a lot of trouble reading these greens,” the world no. 1 said via Mark Cannizarro of the New York Post.

“I had a lot of putts today where I felt like I hit it really good. I looked up and they were not going the way I thought they were going to go,” Scheffler continued.

The cumulative pressure of sustaining his dominance in golf, holding the top world ranking, consistently contending in tournaments, welcoming a newborn child, and even enduring an arrest and detention may have begun to weigh heavily on the 27-year-old Scheffler.

Scheffler's putting performance lagged behind the field by 1.52 strokes, ranking him 56th out of 74 players. He also averaged 1.91 putts per hole, a performance that ties him for 65th place alongside Brooks Koepka in the field.

“The game of golf is a mental torture chamber at times,” Scheffler stressed, “especially the U.S. Open.”

“Yeah, I thought it was challenging. The first 27 holes, I was in the native area way too much of the time. Everything felt really tough,” he continued.

Scheffler's plans: rest and recover

Before Sunday's round to conclude the major, Scheffler revealed his plans stating, “Hit the gym this afternoon, pack up, put my feet up for the rest of the day, hang out with my little man and my wife,” he said. “I'll show up tomorrow morning ready to play. Like I said, I'll go to the gym today, wake up in the morning, get ready to come out to the course again, see if I can learn.”

Scheffler acknowledges that one aspect he needs to adjust is his pre-major preparation. Despite winning last week at the Memorial, he realizes it may have come with consequences.

“In terms of prep work for a week that I know is going to be as tough as this, I'm leaning going forward to maybe not playing the week before. I think especially going around Jack's place [Muirfield], which is going to be pretty close,” the reigning Masters champion said.

Scheffler continued his emphasis on having rest before a major, noting, “I think going into the major championships, especially the ones we know are going to be really challenging, it may be in my best interest not to play the week before.”

He won the Memorial last week. Regardless of how Sunday unfolds, Scheffler still has one more major tournament to play and plenty of time to return to his usual winning self.