Fifty-six days ago, Scottie Scheffler was a 25-year-old beginning his third full season on the PGA Tour, ranked 15th in the world but still seeking his first victory on the game’s top circuit.
As of March 27, after winning three of five events, Scheffler shot up to No. 1 in the world.
As of Sunday evening, Scheffler is now a Masters champion as well.
The former University of Texas star clinched his first major title Sunday at Augusta National, his third career start in the famed tournament. Scheffler took the 36-hole lead on Friday and held it strong all weekend, finishing 10-under overall, three strokes better than Rory McIlroy. Scheffler held a five-shot lead after the second round and a three-shot lead after the third.
It marks his fourth victory in his past six events.
He was challenged on Sunday, but never relinquished the lead. After opening the round with two pars while his playing partner, Cameron Smith, opened with two birdies to cut the lead to one, Scheffler chipped in his first birdie.
He stayed steady the rest of the way — until he four-putted on the 18th hole, likely due to the emotion of what he was about to accomplish. In the end, it didn’t matter. The top golfer in the world received his first green jacket.
Ready to greet him after he finished his round was his wife, Meredith, whom he married in December 2020. Much of their family was on hand to witness the victory as well. Scheffler thanked them in his speech during the green jacket presentation ceremony.
“I have such a great support system, and I’m so blessed,” Scheffler said, taking a moment to hold back tears. “I’m so thankful for the sacrifices my support system has had for me in my lifetime, and I’m so glad we could enjoy this moment together.”
Later in a press conference with the media, Scheffler was asked how he balances his desire to compete — which is fierce — without letting it define who he is as a person. Scheffler then opened up about his faith.
“The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life,” he said. “So for me, my identity isn’t a golf score. Like Meredith told me this morning, ‘If you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots, if you never win another golf tournament again,’ she goes, ‘I’m still going to love you, you’re still going to be the same person, Jesus loves you and nothing changes.’ All I’m trying to do is glorify God and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I’m in [this] position.”
Scheffler continued on to say he felt God’s presence on the course Sunday.
“Meredith always prays for peace because that’s what I want to feel on the golf course, is peace and have fun and just feel His presence. So that’s her prayer every day. That’s my prayer and I really felt that today. I felt at peace,” he said.
His day didn’t begin that way, however. Being in the last group to tee off made for a long wait. A picture of calm and collected all week, Scheffler said he was a mess Sunday morning.
“I cried like a baby this morning,” he said in the press conference. “I was so stressed out. I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there telling Meredith, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this. I’m not ready, I don’t feel like I’m 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 today, you know, somehow I was going to use it for His glory.”
Another calming presence for Scheffler was his caddie, Ted Scott, a veteran in the game who was on the bag for Bubba Watson when he won the Masters in 2012 and 2014. Scott knows the Augusta National course as well as almost anyone.
“He’s only worked for me for now, I don’t even know how many events, like maybe nine or 10. He’s doing pretty good,” Scheffler said with a laugh. “You know, I can’t speak highly enough of Ted as a person, and as a caddie. I respect him so much just as a person. He’s such a fun guy to be around, he’s a man of faith and I love him. I can’t say enough about him. The qualities you look for in a person, Ted embodies pretty much all of them.”
One of the biggest reasons Scheffler wanted to work with Scott was because they’re both Christians. Scheffler and Scott first met through a Bible study about a year before they teamed up. Their first tournament together was the RSM Classic in November.
Scott joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2018 to discuss his own faith journey and what life is like as a Christian on the PGA Tour.
“People a lot of times think, well, if you become a Christian, God’s just gonna make everything easy for you, and that’s not the case,” he said on the podcast. “But having the God of the universe, the Creator, on your side just makes things a lot easier to deal with. And the principles of the Bible are something that, when you use them, you can see it manifest in your life.”
No one could have imagined the success Scheffler and Scott would have in their first season as a team. But through the early part of 2022, they’re the best in the world.