SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: “I’VE BEEN DREAMING OF THIS SINCE I WAS A KID”
Newly-crowned Masters champion Scottie Scheffler reveals how he tamed Augusta and what it means to become a Major winner
How does it feel to have won the Masters, your first major title, just two weeks after reaching no.1 in the world?
It feels pretty good and I’m just really thankful to be in this position. Obviously, I had dreamed of winning since I was a kid, every golfer has, and I imagined what it might feel like to walk up 18 with a big lead, but for that to play out the way that it did was beyond my expectations. I didn’t break my concentration until we got on to the green on 18. Once we got there, I was like, all right, I’m going to enjoy this, and had some fun with it. The four-putt was a little embarrassing though, but it kind of broke the tension.
Did you have a game plan for getting your way around the golf course this week?
We did. My caddie, Ted, and I knew exactly where I wanted to put the ball and if I was to miss it, which side of the golf course I could be on to where I could still get it up-and-down. We just did a good job of keeping myself in positions where we could still manage to reach the green when I wasn’t swinging my best. Ted knows this golf course so well, and I trusted him every step of the way. I had a lot of nice up-and-downs, so if I was to pick one part of my game that excelled the most, I would say it was probably my lob wedge.
Talking of wedge play, how pivotal was the chip-in was at the third hole?
I would say what is most important thing for me was getting that ball up-and-down, but to have it go in was obviously off the charts, but my main goal was just to get up-and-down, and see it go in was something special. Parring 4 and 5 was huge as well. After that I kind of just started cruising. I felt comfortable with most of the aspects of my game and I felt like I wasn’t ever going to make a bogey.
Did you keep your eye on the leaderboards all day?
For the most part I didn’t look at leaderboards. I did see at one point that Rory posted 7-under, and then Cam and I were kind of getting a little tight there after he birdied 11. I made a huge par putt there. After that he made the mistake on 12, and I had a nice up-and-down, and after that just played some good golf. I just kept my head down, kept pushing and trying to hit good shots and stay aggressive. The minute you take your foot off the gas, and play overly conservatively, bogeys can just start racking up. You have to play conservatively aggressive and hit good shots. You can’t just limp your way in. I knew that on the back nine and all I was trying to do was just hit good shots.
Eight weeks ago today, you had our first PGA Tour victory. You now have four wins in your last six starts. Could you ever imagine back then how this was all going to play out? And other than due to the fact you played great golf, did you ever see this coming? What do you put it down to?
I would say ‘no’ to both of those! I’ve never been a guy that likes to look too far into the future. So, for me, just staying present has always been what works best.
The Masters brings lots of life-changing things, but how excited are you about being able to come back here year after year?
That’s the coolest part about this whole deal. This is such a fun golf course. Augusta National is about as cool as it gets. I just can’t believe that I can come back and enjoy this golf course for the rest of my life.
A lot of top players, including the likes of Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas have talked about the influence of Tiger on their game. What has Tiger’s influence on you been?
Oh, yeah. I played Tiger’s irons, wore his shoes and wore his shirt this week. Tiger has done so much for the game of golf. and I, and all my fellow pros, are so glad to have him back out here. He is the needle for the game of golf. He has completely changed the PGA Tour since he came out on tour 25 year or so ago. 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’s something that I reminded myself of today. I tried not to look up. 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 only time I did was on the 18th green and I had a five-shot lead and was like, all right, now I can enjoy this. And you saw the results of that. Thank you, Tiger.