Home Sports Scottie Scheffler’s fame is catching up to his game

Scottie Scheffler’s fame is catching up to his game

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(Illustration by Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports)

PINEHURST, N.C. – The kids were packed three and four on the back of the 17th tee, momentarily, miraculously, in complete silence. Then the big Texan in the blue golf shirt hit his tee shot into the blue Carolina sky and the kids erupted.

“Scottish! Scottish! Scottish!”

There was nothing organized at all about the group of children surrounding Scottie Scheffler. They just wanted to get closer to him, however they could.

The children are not alone. Scheffler arrived at Pinehurst for this week’s US Open as the undisputed heavyweight golf champion and the dominant story. Here’s the news: Almost every other player is asked about Scottie. Not since Tiger Woods’ highest highs (and lows) has a player been the subject of so many questions from other players.

“You can have a nice little streak, but then most of the time you go back to whatever it is, a more normal week,” Viktor Hovland said. “But your average week is really good.”

“Every week we play,” PGA champion Xander Schauffele said, “it seems to get a bigger lead and somehow make the mountain even higher so we can all climb it.”

“He’s the gold standard right now,” Bryson DeChambeau said, “and we all look up to him and say, ‘Okay, how do we get to that level?’”

“It’s good to hear some good things from my teammates because I think we all try to hurt each other in times when we’re playing and competing,” Scheffler said. “I think part of the bond of friendship is that you want to mess with your friends, so hearing some praise every now and then is definitely nice.”

The thing is, Scottie has earned all this praise. At a time when athletes from Caitlin Clark to Travis Kelce are sending waves of viral publicity directly into the nation’s consciousness, Scheffler is racking up fame the old-fashioned way: by getting arrested. Oh, and winning too.

(Illustration by Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports)

Let’s start with the wins first. Scheffler is in a bad place right now. He has already won five tournaments this year and we are only in June. He hasn’t missed a cut in any of his 13 tournaments this year. His lowest finish is a T17, and that was in January. It’s a legitimate surprise right now when he’s No in a weekend classification.

“By winning the tournaments he’s winning, winning Bay Hill, Players, Masters, RBC and then the Memorial,” Jon Rahm said, “you’re basically replicating a Tiger Woods season.”

There it is: the connection with Tiger Woods, although it cannot yet be compared. Scheffler is nowhere near Woods’ territory, especially since Woods’ territory is a damn continent. Woods won nine tournaments in 2000, eight in 1999 and 2006, seven in 2007, six in 2005 and 2009, and five each year between 2001 and 2003 and in 2013. (You forgot how good Woods used to be, right?)

But you can’t create a legendary career without racking up legendary seasons, and Scheffler is on his way to doing exactly that. In his last eight tournaments, he has five wins, two second places and a tie for eighth place. That low point came at the PGA Championship, where there were, shall we say, extenuating circumstances.

“The only thing that kept him from winning a golf tournament,” Rory McIlroy joked, “was being in a cell for an hour.”

Ah yes, the jail cell. , thanks to a traffic stop outside the PGA Championship that went horribly wrong, only added to his legend. With all the charges dropped (and all the pants replaced), all that’s left now are the jokes… like, for example, the guy who showed up at a Louisville guest-member tournament with a “police officer” hanging from your door:

And then there is the “Pinehurst Police Department” that is receiving helpful education to avoid similar problems this week:

Scheffler acknowledged that he had seen some of the jokes, often because Schauffele and others texted them to him. “I don’t love reliving it, but sometimes being able to laugh about it is a good skill too,” he said. “When they make jokes, it’s definitely hard not to laugh.”

The stint behind bars didn’t take long for Scheffler, but it did wonders for his fame. The “Free Scottie” brigade hasn’t arrived in North Carolina from Louisville yet, but chances are you’ll hear a couple of those screams while watching Scheffler this weekend. And you’ll almost certainly see it this weekend, probably late Sunday.

Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, Texas, holds the winner's trophy with his wife Meredith and son Bennett during the awards ceremony after winning the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 9, 2024 in Dublin, Ohio . (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler celebrated his victory Sunday at the Memorial, his fifth victory of the season, with his wife and newborn son. (Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

One of the key weapons in Scheffler’s arsenalMost important, perhaps the most important, is your ability to compartmentalize, to stay focused on the task at hand and shut out the outside world. Whether it’s a new baby, a stint in jail, or a triple ghosting, Scheffler has a remarkable ability to stay level-headed.

“He’s really in control of the environment, not just his surroundings but the conditions on the golf course,” DeChambeau said. “He knows what the golf ball is going to do. He knows how to react accordingly. When things go (wrong), he can right the ship pretty quickly. “That’s just a recipe for success.”

“Bad shots are going to come,” Scheffler acknowledged Tuesday, “but it’s more about your response to those things than it is about actually taking a bad shot because over the course of a 72-hole tournament you’re going to have a lot of bad shots and he made a lot of bad shots. bad shots. It’s more about ‘How am I going to recover from those injections?’”

Part of that balance comes from the fact that Scheffler keeps his personal and professional lives separate. Being a new father imposes that on you.

“When I’m at home, having (my son) Bennett around, it’s almost easier not to be on my phone, not to be watching TV,” she said. “I just want to hang out with him and hang out with (his wife) Mere, and rocking him to sleep makes me sleep. Being at home is fun. “I haven’t been bored at home in a while, that’s for sure.”

Scheffler is in the midst of one of the most notable streaks in recent golf history, but don’t ask him to reflect on it just yet. There is still work to do.

“I try not to think too much about the past, and I try not to think too much about the future, and I just try to live in the present,” he said. “I no longer think about my victories. All I’m focused on is this week and getting ready to play. Just because I won last week doesn’t give me a chance against the field this week. “We all started even and the field is level again starting Thursday.”

Scheffler starts alongside McIlroy and Schauffele at 1:14 pm Thursday. And if the last few weeks are any indication, she won’t be on par for long.

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