Scott Scheffler Sr. looked over the 18th green, perched 30 yards left on a large hill that frames the stadium-style finishing hole at TPC River Highlands. Pacing back and forth, he anxiously and eagerly awaited what was about to play out.

His son, Scottie Scheffler, was down below, circling his ball 11 feet from the hole for birdie on the Travelers Championship’s first playoff hole. Tom Kim, who 15 minutes earlier birdied the 18th to force a playoff, had just bladed his bunker shot well past the pin and missed the comebacker for par.

Scheffler was 11 feet and two putts between him and his sixth victory of the season.

Scott settled into his ideal viewing spot, nestled between the side of the grandstands and a ShotLink tower. That crevice of viewing area, though, was the lone angle for a group of excitable fans lurking some 20 feet behind Scott to watch the proceedings.

“Hey, move out of the way,” one fan shouted.

Scott waved his hand to apologize and kneeled down, blocking his view in the process. He laughed and shrugged, realizing then that he didn’t need to see what would happen. He has watched a similar scene play out more than a few times in recent months. Those fans hadn’t. They deserved to see it. The sound would tell the story anyway.

“C’mon Scottie, hit it soft,” he implored.

Moments later, the silence broke. The roars reached a crescendo and sustained. Scott knew what that meant. His son had listened.

Scott jumped up, pumped his fist and looked back toward the clubhouse. Scheffler’s wife Meredith and their 6-week-old son Bennett were waiting inside until the tournament was sealed. Scott waved them up, then took his first look down the hill as his son hugged caddie Ted Scott. It was over.

Scheffler bested Kim on the first playoff hole to win the Travelers Championship after both carded 22-under 258 at TPC River Highlands. It’s Scheffler’s sixth win of the season. He is the quickest to accomplish the feat since Arnold PaImer in 1962. Three other players – Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Nick Price – have won at least six times in a season since 1983, but none have done it as fast as Scheffler.

“It was a great finish. This golf course produces a lot of those, you know, the exciting stuff coming down the stretch,” Scheffler said. “It was a lot of fun and I’m proud to be sitting here with the trophy.”

Scheffler has stuffed a Hall of Fame-worthy career into a matter of four months – winning four Signature Events, THE PLAYERS Championship and the Masters. He’s up to 12 career TOUR victories, all since February 2022. The dominant run is unmatched in this generation outside of Woods. There’s still a long way to go before reaching that tier, but Scheffler is on one of his own now.

The world No. 1 does his best to sidestep that reality when asked about it. He’d rather focus on the process, not the results. Winning does not define him, even if the victories roll in at record pace. He has the luxury to ignore it. Everyone around him doesn’t. They are acutely aware. Wyndham Clark, Ludvig Åberg, Collin Morikawa, Sahith Theegala and Kim are painfully aware. They are the runners-up – those who played phenomenally but not perfectly – whose performances will be lost to time. Perfect golf is, by nature, incredibly difficult to cultivate. And to beat this version of Scheffler, you must be perfect.

“The elite level for you to win out here, it’s very, very small,” Kim said. His mind raced to two three-putts, one on Saturday’s fourth hole and the other on the eighth hole on Sunday. Those were his only two bogeys. They were the difference.

“When you’re going against Scottie, who I know very, very well, I knew that today I had to play really good golf and I felt like I did,” Kim said.

Scheffler’s really good golf is simply better.

Given that, it would be disingenuous to assert Scheffler is sneaking up on anyone. Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone. He’s the unquestioned best player in the world, and the gap is undeniably large. But there’s a certain quality to golf tournaments that can lull even the trained golf watcher into expecting a different outcome. At points early on Sunday, Scheffler wasn’t top of mind. He parred the first five holes while others assumed the spotlight. Cameron Young birdied his first four holes, pushing himself squarely into the mix after his Saturday 59. Akshay Bhatia and Xander Schauffele made early birdies to tie Kim, who began the day with a one-shot lead. Meanwhile, Scheffler was stuck in neutral. That’s nowhere to be at the gettable TPC River Highlands.

But just as soon as you’re convinced the inevitable outcome may not happen this time, that Scheffler may quietly fade, there’s a moment when it all becomes clear and any previous notion that someone else would win the golf tournament feels silly. That moment came about halfway through Sunday’s round. Scheffler broke the seal with birdies at the par-5 sixth and par-4 seventh to get to 19-under, tied for the lead. Then Kim bogeyed the eighth, and suddenly Scheffler held control. He never relinquished it. Within the next hour, every notable challenger stumbled. Schauffele bogeyed Nos. 7 and 9. Bhatia dropped a shot at the ninth. Young made a double bogey at the 12th and Finau rinsed his tee shot on the par-3 16th and made double.

Kim was the lone challenger who withstood. He bounced back with a birdie on the 10th and matched Scheffler with birdies on the 13th and 15th. But Scheffler also birdied the 14th, which proved the one-shot cushion as they headed to 18. Kim nearly delivered his 2017 Jordan Spieth moment with his approach shot, scaring the hole for an eagle and a possible walk-off victory. Kim converted the birdie and Scheffler narrowly missed a birdie of his own, pushing the tournament to extra holes.

We know what came next. Kim blinked. Scheffler didn’t. He hasn’t for months.