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Scottie Scheffler’s second Masters win is what greatness looks like



Scottie Scheffler's second Masters win is what greatness looks like

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The statistical models had it all mapped out. The story told in its recent form was the world’s most obvious foreshadowing. His pre-tournament press conference – in which he again spoke of golf as something he “does” and not something that defines his life – practically reinforced it.

Scottie Scheffler was always going to win the 88th Masters tournament. And on Sunday he just let it happen.

“It’s really impressive,” said Max Homa after losing to Scheffler by seven shots. “You just know he’s going to be there and he’s going to play well.”

By donning his second green jacket in two years on Sunday afternoon, Scheffler became the second player to win the Masters and The Players Championship in the same season, joining Tiger Woods. Scheffler has often used the same punishments as the fifteen-time national champion, but it is now clear that this will become a weekly ritual, perhaps for years to come.

We are witnessing a display of greatness that we haven’t seen from anyone in a while, and we must cherish this gift. Scheffler is the type of player with that rare appeal. When he expertly weaves his way around a golf course and leaves his colleagues in the dust, it’s hard to look away. It doesn’t look like we’ll have to do this anytime soon.

Scheffler’s dominance comes from his 6-3 build. He swings with a freedom and flexibility that defies physics. Randy Smith, Scheffler’s coach since he was seven years old, says the Texan “has the best pair of hands I’ve ever seen in my life.” His athletic figure allows him to harness tremendous power, and his unwavering fundamentals keep the ball in the fairway. While it might slip from time to time, he proved that his feel and eye for the undulating greens of Augusta National are unparalleled.

But the true source of Scheffler’s dominance lies between his ears.

During his green jacket ceremony, Scheffler apologized to patrons at Augusta National for running with his head down for the entire Sunday round.

Scheffler heard the warm applause on every tee box and every green. He felt the roar. He saw the outstretched hands reaching out along the ropes of the gallery. Out of the corner of his eye he felt the presence of hundreds of young golfers eager to contribute in any way to their role model’s final round, to somehow claim a share in his second Masters victory.


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But Scheffler kept his gaze downward. He didn’t like it, but there was no time for that that Sunday. That’s never the case, just as there’s no time to sift through unnecessary TrackMan data or sit through long-winded interviews that delve into his personal life. Scheffler has not downloaded any social media platform onto his phone. He has blocked all digital golf publications on the Internet from his news feed so he can stay informed while staying above the fray.

“Nothing,” says Rory McIlroy when asked what’s going on in Scheffler’s head right now. “Nothing. Not a lot of mess. The game feels quite easy when you’re in these kinds of situations. That’s the tricky part when you’re not really in shape. You’re searching and thinking about it so much, but when you’re in shape, you don’t think about it at all.”

The scariest thing about Scheffler’s greatness is that it starts to become easy.

Until the final putt dropped and he found himself in a long embrace with his caddy, Ted Scott, Scheffler’s four-shot victory at the Masters looked emotionless. That was never the case. Scheffler’s performance coach, Troy Van Biezen, says Scheffler’s superpower lies in the fact that you can never tell if he is 5 over par or 5 under par.

Scheffler really wanted to win this tournament. On Sunday morning, he told his friends that he wished he didn’t have such an intense competitive hunger. “I told them, I wish I didn’t want to win as much as I did or win so much. I think it would make mornings easier,” Scheffler said.

Scottie Scheffler celebrated with his family after his second Masters win. (Adam Cairns/USA Today)

Scheffler has the ultimate desire and will – he always has. As a teenager, Scheffler showed up at Royal Oaks, his home course in Dallas, wearing pants instead of golf shorts to mirror his PGA Tour idols. He remained patient through a yearlong growth spurt that derailed his swing into his early 20s. He played one season on the Korn Ferry Tour and four years on the PGA Tour, and Scheffler never once threw in the towel when things didn’t seem to be going his way.

Scheffler has the drive, but he also has the separation. The 27-year-old devout Christian – who will become a father when his wife Meredith soon gives birth to their first child – knows that golf isn’t everything. Scheffler was willing to withdraw from the Masters if he got the call from Meredith, and now all he wants to do is go home to her.

“My identity is already secure,” Scheffler said Sunday evening. “I get to come here and compete, have fun, enjoy it; and at the end of the day, whether I win or lose, my identity is safe.”

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Scheffler’s unique combination of mental and physical attributes has made him a generational talent. On Sunday, when he found Augusta’s tabletop-sized landing spots with ease and continued pouring out birdie putts with the tournament already his, Scheffler proved it.

His character doesn’t change and he doesn’t go anywhere.

This is just the beginning, and we want to remember that.

(Top photo: Andrew Redington / Getty Images)