By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Reporter
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Not long ago, Scott Scheffler stood on the green behind Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, dutifully clutching a flashlight as his only son — just 5 or 6 on time – hitting shots in the dark.
And if one of Scottie Scheffler’s wayward punches does manage to land one of his sisters, so be it.
“He used to scream,” Scott Scheffler said. “He was yelling at us when he hit him. He hit the girls.”
Nearly two decades later, Scottie Scheffler’s lens is considerably better. Yes, he was the kid who used to tie up his siblings with impunity by pulling the green jacket over his broad shoulders after winning the Masters on Sunday afternoon.
And yes, it was most of the Scheffler clan – sisters Callie and Molly (the other sister Sara is in Portugal) plus Scott and his wife Diane – huddled just outside Butler Cabin to celebrate a climb to the top that really wasn’t that jet-fueled at all.
There were days in northern New Jersey when the Scheffler kids were introduced to the game. They moved to Dallas when Diane changed law firms as COO. They soon decided to join the Royal Oaks Country Club, mainly because it meant Scott Scheffler could babysit all four children in one place.
While Scott Scheffler understands his son’s origin story takes a familiar tale and turns it on its head — it was Scott who was the stay-at-home dad while Diane worked — he doesn’t see it as groundbreaking, weird, or unusual. .
“It’s just what you do as a father for your children,” said Scott Scheffler, his eyes watering with tears as he wore a white Masters polo shirt on the field of a club where his son is now champion. . “You do it for your kids, you know. I did it for all of them. They gave us great joy. He did all the hard work, not me. I just brought up and tried my best to be a good father.
Maybe, but someone had to bring Team Scheffler to all these sporting events. Youth golf tournaments. High school basketball practices. The list is seemingly endless. The fact that Dad drove most of the time didn’t matter.
“It wasn’t unusual for me,” Scottie Scheffler said. “I didn’t know anything different. Luckily for me, I grew up with three sisters and my dad was there, and he did a great job raising us.”
Scott Scheffler made it his business to ensure his children were well balanced. While emphasizing “I’m not a guru,” he stressed how vital it was to make sure Scottie wasn’t focused on golf all the time. He tried out as a sophomore at Highland Park High School only to find he missed playing basketball too much. So he was back on the basketball team the following year.
Still, Scottie wasn’t the only athlete in the family. Callie Scheffler played at Texas A&M and caddyed Scottie when he qualified for the 2016 US Open at Oakmont as an amateur, and Molly and Sara are also players.
While Scott Scheffler laughingly admitted, “The Schefflers have their issues, but they’re good people,” he got more serious when asked what the world needed to know about the gaming enthusiast. 25-year-old unassuming company who is now the hottest golfer in the world. the planet.
“He’s just a nice young boy,” Scott Scheffler said. “Born in New Jersey and raised in Texas. He’s got a bit of both, which is wonderful. Just our son and Meredith’s husband and now I guess he belongs in the world.
Family ties extend beyond the Scheffler team.
PGA Hall of Fame pro Randy Smith has worked with Scottie for years, and Randy’s son Blake is Scheffler’s agent. Blake and Scottie met soon after the Schefflers joined Royal Oaks and the two played together when they could.
This relationship between the Schefflers and the Smiths has only deepened over the years. Perhaps that’s why Randy leaned over Scottie’s bag as he stood inside signing his scorecard after the biggest tournament – so far – of his budding career.
Randy was at Scheffler’s on Saturday night, trying to relax him as he sat on a three-stroke lead heading into Sunday. They worked on Scheffler’s alignment. On his ball position. And on her mood, watching Instagram videos in an effort to keep things light.
While Scheffler admitted his stomach hurt him over the weekend and he cried Sunday morning from the pressure, he didn’t seem shaken as he posted a 1-under 71 that gave him gave a three-stroke victory. There was only one major setback, a four putt on the 18th with his victory assured, although Smith couldn’t help but laugh when asked when he finally got away with it. relaxed.
“When he made his fourth putt (at age 18),” Smith said. “We will find out what happened. »
There is time to exhale, but not much. In early February, Scheffler was still looking for his first PGA Tour victory. In early April, he’s on the kind of run he couldn’t have imagined while drilling putts on North Jersey nights, hardly worried about where the putt went, who it hit, or if mum or dad brought them home.
“It’s public now, which is kind of scary,” Scott Scheffler said.
Don’t expect Scottie to forget where he came from. Scott and Diane Scheffler’s only son is well aware that he barely made the trip alone from Bergen Community College to Augusta National.
“They weren’t perfectly related, obviously, but to me they did their best all the time, and I love them for it,” Scheffler said. “You know, I can’t talk enough about the hard work they put in. I can’t put it into words, I really can’t.”
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