Scottie Scheffer with 2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama; (Right) with wife Meredith after winning WGC-Dell . Pix: Getty Images
American Scottie Scheffler, the current World No. 1 and FedExCup points leader, capped a magical run of form by winning The Masters Tournament, the first major victory of his career. It was a remarkable fourth PGA TOUR title within a span of just 57 days, marking the shortest stretch from a first-to-fourth victory in PGA TOUR history.
I grew up at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas wearing long pants and a collared shirt to like third-grade class and got made fun of. Rightfully so. I’d go to practice like that because I wanted to be a professional golfer. I dreamed of being out here competing on the PGA TOUR. I grew up around so many guys out there, just watching them and learning from them.
I knew from a young age that I always wanted to be out here, but I never expected to be sitting where I am now. You don’t expect things to come to you in this life. You just do the best that you can with the hand you’re dealt and go from there. I never really thought I was that good at golf, so I kept practicing and kept working hard, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.
I grew up with three sisters and my dad was there, and he did a great job raising us. Both my parents would do anything for any of us. They co-parented, but my mom worked most of the time, five days a week and sometimes more than that. And so you know, they didn’t parent perfectly, but for me, they did the best they could all the time, and I love them for that. I can’t speak highly enough of the hard work they have put in. I can’t put it into words. The game of golf means a lot to our family—all three of my sisters also played—and they definitely took it up because I was doing it. And, you know, they tease me and I’m sure that will continue into the future. I just can’t thank them enough for their support.
I’ve always been fiercely competitive. I like competing and I enjoy the challenge. Just competing is really fun for me and being able to win tournaments is pretty awesome. The rankings never really crossed my mind. It was always about being out here and competing.
Winning the Masters Tournament … my head is still kind of spinning. I was so focused for so long. Major championship golf is brutal, especially around a golf course like Augusta National, and it was not playing easy. It was such a mental grind and winning this golf tournament, I’m so humbled. I’m just glad to be a part of the field and be able to come out here and have a chance to compete. To be able to win this tournament, I can’t say enough about it. It feels pretty good and I’m really thankful. You know, I didn’t get to the press room in my dreams. I can’t believe I can come back for a lifetime now and get to enjoy this golf course.
I’ve never been a guy that likes to look too far into the future. So for me, staying present has always been what works best. I was doing my best to stay present and enjoy the moment. That’s what I did most of the final round. The only thing I imagined was probably that walk up 18. I’ve seen some guys do that and the first one that comes to mind is watching Jordan Spieth make that walk up 18 with a huge lead. And definitely throughout the final round when I built up a little bit of a lead, I didn’t want any stress towards the end, and I didn’t break my concentration until we got on to the green on 18. Once we got on to the green, I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to enjoy this,’ and had some fun with it. Nothing is safe out there on the back nine.
It’s fun being in contention. Once I get out on property, it’s fantastic. But off the golf course, it’s much more difficult. Trying to sleep at night and the slow mornings and the stress, it’s a long week. And playing with a lead is not easy, especially at a golf tournament like the Masters. If you took a straw poll of the guys on Tour what golf tournament they would want to win, it would be the Masters.
The morning of the final round I cried like a baby. I was so stressed out. I didn’t know what to do and I was sitting there telling my wife, Meredith, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this, I’m not ready for this kind of stuff,’ and I just felt overwhelmed. She told me, ‘Who are you to say that you are not ready?’ Who am I to say that I know what’s best for my life? And so what we talked about is that God is in control and that the Lord is leading me; and if today is my time, it’s my time. And if I shot 82, you know, somehow I was going to use it for His glory. My faith affects all aspects of my life, not just my life on the golf course. The Lord has given me a skill, and I’m trying to use it for His glory. Outside of that, I’m just out here trying to do my best. For me, my identity isn’t a golf score.
When I was young, I dreamed of having a chance to play in this golf tournament. I teared up the first time I got my invitation in the mail. We were fortunate enough to play here in college, and I love this place. I love this golf course. You don’t know how many chances you’re going to get. I think I had a five-shot lead on Friday and then a three-shot lead going into Sunday. I don’t know if you get better opportunities than that. You don’t want to waste them.
Tiger Woods is the needle for the game of golf. He has completely changed the PGA TOUR from when he came on 25 years ago or maybe 26 now. And his YouTube clips are such an inspiration for me. I remember watching the highlights of him winning in ’97, kind of running away with it, and he never really broke his concentration. That was something that I reminded myself. I tried not to look up during the final round. I tried to keep my head down and just keep doing what I was doing because I didn’t want to break my concentration. The minute I did was on 18 green when I finally got on there and I had a five-shot lead and was like, ‘All right, now I can enjoy this.’ And you saw the results of that (where he four-putted for a closing double bogey). Thank you, Tiger.
Note: Scottie Scheffler is the current FedExCup points leader and World No. 1. You can watch him compete on the PGA TOUR on Eurosport and GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR.