March 28, 2024

0:46 Play Video: Memorial Park Golf Course’s Scottie Scheffler discusses scoring opportunities


TOUR professionals consider Scheffler’s generational ascent.



.Kevin Houston Despite suffering a neck injury, Scottie Scheffler won his second PLAYERS Championship championship in a row. This is not the first time he has overcome an illness to raise a trophy.


Chandler Phillips, a fellow native of Texas and friend of Scheffler, told a story this week at the Texas Children’s Houston Open about how, as a junior, Scheffler won the 2013 state title just after he twisted his ankle in a pickup basketball game.


Despite having to wear footwear with an ankle brace and bend his foot to allow for adequate weight shift due to the injury, Scheffler remained unfazed. It should come as no surprise that Scheffler and his Highland Park squad won the state championship given their generational hand-eye coordination.


“He extended (his foot) a bit… This week, Phillips recalled, “He ended up winning state, almost pointing toward where he was hitting, because he couldn’t turn on it.” “I’m just like, ‘Dude, let’s get out of here,'”


He is definitely an incredible athlete. He’s amazing.




Play Video 3:35

Chandler Phillips remembers his early experiences facing Scottie Scheffler.



For the Texas Children’s Houston Open this week, Scheffler is making a return trip to his own state. Memorial Park Golf Course is a neighborhood municipal course where young golfers may play for $10 during the week. Residents of Houston have the opportunity to watch history being made when they watch Scheffler and his fellow TOUR pros compete on the nearly 90-year-old layout that Tom Doak restored in 2019.


After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and THE PLAYERS Championship back-to-back on the PGA TOUR, Scheffler makes his Memorial Park debut after carding a final-round 64 to become the event’s first-ever back-to-back winner. Scheffler spent the majority of last week at home in Dallas, kicking back with family and friends, before driving the 240 miles south to pursue his third consecutive victory.


Dustin Johnson was the last player to win three straight TOUR starts in 2017. Amidst an incredible streak of ball-striking, a clean-shaven Scheffler (who leads the TOUR in strokes gained this season) both off the tee (0.966) and approach the green (1.268). Even Scheffler’s sore neck, which needed mid-round treatment on Friday, was unable to stop him at TPC Sawgrass. (This shouldn’t be surprising, given the high school anecdote.)




Play Video 1:05

Story of high school basketball injury by Scottie Scheffler



Scheffler’s secret sauce is in the intangibles, in addition to his exceptional technique and golf intelligence. Motivated by a solid perspective, he never exaggerates any moment. He joked at THE PLAYERS that Meredith would “smack me on the side of the head” if he started flaunting his trophies around the house. His wife Meredith and his three sisters are among those who help him keep his ego in check.


Five years ago, after a season that produced 10 top-10s in 20 appearances, including two wins, Scheffler earned the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year award during a press conference at the Texas Children’s Houston Open (which was then held in October). At the Korn Ferry Tour Championship earlier that autumn, he was asked a straightforward yet insightful question: What is the nicest thing about life?


At the time, he stated, “It’s important to spend life with people you enjoy.” “You want to be able to enjoy things with somebody, so I don’t really think whatever you’re doing is worth it if you don’t have a few quality close friends.”


In the midst of his professional achievements, which have brought him eight TOUR victories and the top slot (comfortably) on the Official World Golf Ranking, Scheffler was questioned on Wednesday if that sentiment still held true.


“I firmly maintain that assertion,” Scheffler declared on Wednesday. It’s strange how you seem to expect my life would have altered significantly, yet it hasn’t actually changed much outside of this place. Being able to return home and celebrate with friends is very unique. Although it only lasts for a few minutes or seconds, winning is enjoyable.


“But the most memorable moments are those that we spend with our loved ones when we return home and celebrate.”


When it comes to his game, the word “special” is equally crucial. Tony Finau experienced Scheffler for the first time when he shot 59 at TPC Boston in the 2020 FedExCup Playoffs as a rookie on the Tour. Finau stated this week, “I knew he was special from that moment on.”




Play Video 1:38

Tony Finau discusses the recent achievements of Scottie Scheffler.



Tiger Woods, the 82-time champion of the Tour, was compared to Peter Malnati, the victor of last week’s Valspar Championship.


“Whenever somebody inquires about Scottie, I always refer them back to Tiger,” stated Malnati, who will compete with Scheffler and Will Zalatoris during the opening two rounds in Houston. When I played with Tiger (at The Genesis Invitational in 2019), he was the greatest iron player I have ever seen, ever, ever seen, even though he was a little bit handicapped and way past his prime. Therefore, it is amazing to find that Scottie Scheffler has produced Strokes Gained figures that are comparable to Tiger’s over the years.


World #4 Wyndham Never one to back down from a challenge, Clark even mentioned that trading crowns with Scheffler for the remainder of the season would be a good result. (Clark has placed second behind Scheffler in his last two races.)


This week, Phillips quipped that he was only waiting for Scheffler to graduate from high school. One grade younger Phillips watched with patience as Scheffler won three straight state championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Playing for Huntsville High School the following year, Phillips won states while Scheffler was a freshman at the University of Texas.


Phillips stated, “He left there at last.”


Scheffler consistently makes an impression on his peers, but he hardly ever makes an im

pression on himself. Not as a high school student in Texas, not after sustaining an injury, and not right now.


Maybe that’s where the secret is.

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