There is a wounded wall in Texas that tells the truth and releases the legend. The legend is about Scotty Scheffler and the flat lines of a character who never knowingly ventures into extremes during his dizzying rise through the game of golf.
He is, unanimously, a gentle killer. A kind of “Aw shucks” killer. A man of deep faith who’s won five PGA Tour titles and the Masters in the past 14 months, but doesn’t go down the throat with his words.
Certainly, he is the most sober of the Three Kings of Golf who would start as Augusta’s favorite. While Rory McIlroy and John Rahm breathe fire when the subject matter is right, Scheffler, the youngest of the trio at 26, brings the ice. And ice goes well with champagne.
To borrow Brooks Koepka’s exaggerated remark, delivered as a compliment on Full Swing: “The MVP in the world doesn’t have any damn thoughts in his head.”
So let’s go back to that wall and origin story about how tranquility was a process rather than a permanent condition for the reigning hero of Augusta. The man sharing the yarn laughs because University of Texas head golf coach John Fields has seen other sides of the world No. 1 and has a deeper understanding of how to make a master.
Scotty Scheffler (above) is a lot cuter than his great rivals Rory McIlroy and John Rahm
“If you want a competitor, he’s your man,” says Fields, who has seen a few, having also applied final coats of paint to Jordan Spieth before he went out into the world. A financial student at Fields from age 18 until his graduation on 22 in 2018, Scheffler made his mark in a number of ways.
“We have holes in the gym wall that I’m going to tell you about,” Fields says. It was through table tennis. Because of Scotty and a couple of other guys, we decided to put 2 or 3 inch thick padding on that wall. They let out their anger or competitiveness and we are tired of seeing these holes in the wall. Scotty is the guy who doesn’t want to lose. in anything. As a coach, you don’t want to take this away from someone.
He has other tales to tell and they are all with great emotion. Fields adds: “People talk about Ben Crenshaw (Masters champion in 1984 and 1995) and his nickname is Gentle Ben, right? It was a joke given to him, as he was anything but cute. He grew up on it but his father had to take them off the golf course several times when he was young.
Scotty was never taken off the golf course, even though his dad was very firm with him and a really great teacher. But Scotty grew into this guy you see today. Scotty has this fire burning in him and sometimes he’s raging in high school and sometimes in college.
There were many times that lingered in my mind. We were at a certain tournament in Pumpkin Ridge. He got a shot he wasn’t happy with and something came out of his mouth that wasn’t very good and one of the coaches just shrugged it off. Scotty apologized at the end of the day. Keep in mind we train 18-22 year olds and in a certain sense there is some immaturity there. Scotty realized he made a mistake and took ownership of it. This is important for growth.
Fields has these memories. They play on an intrinsic drive that made Scheffler a three-time high school state champion at Highland Park in Dallas—tying a record set by Spieth—and winner of the US Junior Amateur Championship in 2013. They also point to how he came to be a major force in the US college golf greenhouse despite From a series of injuries to his back and other places. Fields believes flexibility and hunger are as important as any other weapon in Scheffler’s portfolio and were key to how he broke into the professional game.
“I remember his freshman year,” says Fields. He had just won two consecutive championships and we were playing a regional tournament. On the last day, he got really upset with a shot he didn’t like and took a big hit in the bush. Well, that bush had thistles in it and a big one wedged all the way into his left thumb.
The in-form American golfer has won five PGA Tour titles and the Masters in the past 14 months
The highest triple in pursuit of the title
Masters promises to produce an unforgettable battle between the top three players in the world. Scotty Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and John Rahm have won 15 tournaments between them since the start of last year and have shown the kind of electric form that makes them favorites to win the green jacket.
Rory McIlroy (Nery)
World ranking: 2
2022-23 round earnings: $45.79m (£36.98m)
2022-23 wins: 4 (3 PGA, €1)
Driving average: 326.6 (1st)
Driving Accuracy: 51.98% (188)
Mode average: 1.78 (143rd place)
Greens in regulation: 64.8% (143)
John Ram (spa)
World ranking: 3
2022-23 round earnings: $22.12m (£17.86m)
2022-23 wins: 6 (4 PGA, €2)
Driving average: 314.1 (5th)
Driving Accuracy: 57.5% (120)
Mode average: 1.67 (second)
Greens in regulation: 72.8% (third)
my silence Scheffler (United States)
World ranking: 1
2022-23 round earnings: $41.67m (£33.65m)
2022-23 wins: 5 PGA
Driving average (yards): 308.7 (Rank: 20)
Driving Accuracy: 63.29% (41)
Mode average: 1.71 (23)
Greens in regulation: 73.77% (1)
The only way to get that out was surgery, but we’re going to play again the following week, so he just kept it and had a great tournament. difficult child.
“The thing is with Scotty, he was also a very good basketball player. One day he played basketball with his friends and sprained his ankle really bad, but in his head he had to play the tournament we were coming in. They put a protective boot on him and he went and played it 36 holes.
Of course he won.
“There’s a lot that’s been done over the years,” Fields says. He’s had a few angels come into his life. Meredith, his wife, is the one who really helped him harness that energy. He has amazing parents too, and his coach Randy Smith treats Butch Harmon as the best player in the world. A lot of that has to do with his belief and between everything he’s the No. 1 player in the world, but there’s a major league fire in his heart for competition.
I always say that what makes a man good makes him bad and vice versa, so the coach has to deal with that. If the coach decides to take that away from the guy, you run the risk of taking this incredible talent and putting it in the ice chest so we never see it again. Fire creates this energy that keeps you strong.
These fires drive one of golf’s hottest streaks. They also contributed to a formidable three-way rivalry – if Ram, McIlroy and Scheffler achieve their best in Augusta, it will be a showdown for the ages.
Between them, they’ve racked up 15 world wins since the start of 2022, and within that dominant group, Scheffler and Ram appear to have fewer fluctuations in form than McIlroy.
It has sometimes given way to the view that Scheffler is a more mechanical approach, both overlooking the quirks of his swing—his footwork is no textbook—and raising suspicion from Fields.
In his mind, Scheffler’s exceptional short game prowess amounts to the genius more commonly identified with a player who once rubbed shoulders on the European Tour in the 1980s. “If you believe in afterlife, Ballesteros’ sword might have jumped into this man’s body!” He says.
I used to have a Scotty name – Paley Scheffler. I never said it to him but it was in my head. The way we got there his anger and his competitiveness would increase, so I walked with him a lot.
Scheffler, McIlroy (left) and Ram (right) have 15 world victories since the start of 2022
When he was having trouble on the course, I noticed that when I asked him what type of shot he was going to try, he would tell me and then 90 percent of the time it wouldn’t work. So I decided to just keep my mouth shut and just watch.
You saw he would get into that creative mode and then 98 percent of the time he would succeed. The only person I’ve seen do that is Ballesteros. Then I took a refreshing pill and thought, “Okay, time for Bali Scheffler.” He would do something amazing.
He’s been blessed with that kind of ability and you can see that with what he did at the Masters last year when he pulled in three points in the final round to really get him started. It is pure creativity. Why is this I do not know. Why was Michelangelo able to paint the Sistine Chapel?
robot? The ruling lord of Augusta seems to be much more than that.