Scheffler a Masters Champion and By no means Noticed It Coming | Sports activities Information

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Author

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler needed to be an expert golfer for thus lengthy he wore trousers to classes at Royal Oaks in Dallas and even at junior tournaments, regardless of how stifling the Texas warmth.

He simply by no means imagined how he would look in a inexperienced jacket.

Profitable the Masters is the dream of any junior golfer, significantly in Texas with its heritage of champions from Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan to Ben Crenshaw and Charles Coody to most just lately Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.

Scheffler was no peculiar child, and that a lot hasn’t modified.

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“I’ve by no means been a man that likes to look too far into the longer term,” Scheffler stated Sunday night, nonetheless making an attempt to understand the magnitude of his three-shot victory at Augusta Nationwide.

Tiger Woods spoke over the weekend of that window of time when a participant will get sizzling, whether or not it was Fred {Couples} in 1992 or Woods on extra events than he can bear in mind. The hope is that window features a main on the calendar, and Scheffler’s run got here at a really perfect time.

He gained the Phoenix Open, at Bay Hill and on the Match Play in a span of seven weeks. The final one despatched him to No. 1 on the planet, and the following cease was Augusta.

However as he sat in Butler Cabin, ready to slide into the inexperienced jacket for the primary time, he was requested when he first dreamed about corresponding to event.

“Most likely the primary time it popped into my thoughts was Friday within the afternoon, after we bought performed,” Scheffler replied.

“Actually?” got here the response.

Sure, actually. Scheffler has talked for the previous two months about solely wanting an opportunity to compete. That was the dream. What introduced him to tears was getting his first invitation within the mail when he certified for his first Masters that was moved to November in 2020.

Profitable the Masters? Solely after he constructed a five-shot lead after the second spherical, and held on for a three-shot lead going into the ultimate day.

Scheffler is all about competing. That hasn’t modified.

Randy Smith can spin yarns about seeing Scheffler at age 10 sitting on the vary at Royal Oaks as he watched and listened to tour professionals form pictures and discuss. After which he would problem them to short-game contests or on the placing greens, and if he wasn’t taking cash off them, he was placing a dent of their egos.

“He was a gamer,” stated Will Zalatoris, who grew up within the Dallas space with Scheffler. “He wore pants to each match even when it was 110 levels. He tried to be an expert at a younger age, and clearly seeing what he’s doing now, it’s fairly cool on my half to see it.”

That quick recreation was a giant a part of his Masters victory. The ultimate margin was nearer than it actually was. Scheffler had a five-shot lead and at last took off his blinders to take in the ambiance, after which absent-mindedly four-putted for a double bogey. He shot 71 as an alternative of 69. He gained by three as an alternative of 5. These are simply numbers in a file ebook.

Cameron Smith made a rapid run with birdies on the opening two holes that lower the result in one shot, and Scheffler responded with maybe probably the most vital shot of the ultimate spherical. His chip up the steep slope on No. 3 rattled towards the pin and dropped for birdie, and Smith’s bogey made it a two-shot swing.

Ignored was the up-and-down from behind the primary inexperienced — one of many worst spots to be at Augusta, particularly for somebody making an attempt to win their first main — and the pitch from lengthy and left on the par-3 fourth.

“If I used to be to select one a part of my recreation that excelled probably the most, I might say it was in all probability my lob wedge,” Scheffler stated. “Even immediately, I had some actually good up-and-downs to start with of the spherical after which simply saved myself in place.”

He didn’t get quarters for a few of his massive putts, solely pars, and people have been value loads.

After beginning the again 9 with a careless bogey from the golf green, Scheffler missed the eleventh inexperienced to the precise and pitched to 7 toes. Smith made birdie, and Scheffler rolled in his par putt to maintain the lead at three pictures.

It was like that every one day — all week, actually.

Earlier than lengthy, all that was left was a stroll up the 18th fairway, a visit to Butler Cabin, the inexperienced jacket. It is the stuff of desires, even when they have been by no means his.

Scheffler is No. 1 by some margin, and nobody can doubt he earned the rating with the standard of his wins — a World Golf Championship, a significant, a wide range of programs and checks.

“You get on these sizzling streaks, and also you simply bought to experience them out as a result of they, sadly, don’t final endlessly,” Justin Thomas stated. “However he’s doing it within the largest tournaments. It’s not like he’s going and profitable small occasions or Bahamas the place it’s 20 folks. He’s profitable WGCs. He’s profitable a significant now.

“It’s actually, actually spectacular to see somebody that younger deal with a second this massive so simply.”

“I need to go dwelling,” Scheffler stated along with his distinctive giggle. “I am fairly drained proper now.”

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