Thanks to the magic of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Robby Shelton is on the field at the BMW Championship this week despite losing five of his last eight cuts. But a few early season top 10s, plus a T-3 at 3M Open and a T-13 at TPC Boston last week, were enough to put him in the top 70 at one of the most pivotal points of the PGA Tour season.
Shelton is one of the few players on the pitch who has a recent history at Olympia Fields. The two-time winner of the Korn Ferry Tour advanced to the round of 16 in the 2015 US Amateur at the Chicago area course. Even in that Round of 16? Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Maverick McNealy, all on the pitch at BMW.
McNealy, who lost to DeChambeau in that year’s round of 16, spoke to the media Wednesday in Illinois. He was asked about the infusion of young players on the PGA Tour and what he admires about each of their games. The former Stanford alum began recalling his days in college and playing against Rahm, Harry Higgs and Shelton, whom he spoke of in enthusiastic terms, eventually revealing Shelton’s A + nickname.
“These guys are all the best players in the world, so there are a lot of things they do really well,” McNealy said. “Picking small pieces from all those players, old or young, is very useful. Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Matt Wolff, I’m probably forgetting a group, even Jon Rahm, I played a lot against him in college, and also the rookies who came here this week, Robby Shelton, Harry Higgs and ce n ‘is another one, I don’t remember who, but they all do a lot of things really well.
“When we played the Walker Cup in 2015 everyone dubbed Robby Shelton” Xbox “because he did it so easily it was like a video game.”
There may be no higher compliment you can give a golfer than saying he has a video game like swing. Here’s Shelton’s move, for those interested in that sort of thing:
Yes. Esque da video game. Shelton, who sits 62nd on the FedEx Cup rankings, needs a whopping week at BMW to advance to his first Tour Championship. If it does, we can expect to hear more about the nickname’s origin story during the broadcast.