Newly-crowned Masters Champion Scotty Scheffler reveals how he controlled Augusta and what it means to be a major winner
Just two weeks after reaching number one in the world Masters, how does it feel to win your first major title?
It feels good and I am really grateful for being in this position. Obviously, I’ve dreamed of winning since I was a kid, every golfer has, and I imagined what it would be like to walk the big 18s with a big lead, but the way it did for him was beyond my expectations. I didn’t break my concentration until I reached the green at 18. Once we get there, I think, well, I’m going to enjoy it, and have some fun with it. Although the fore-put was a bit embarrassing, it somehow broke the tension.
Do you have a game plan to get your way around the golf course this week?
We did. My Cady, Ted, and I knew exactly where I wanted to put the ball and if I missed it, I could go to any side of the golf course where I could still get it up and down. We did a good job of keeping ourselves in a position where we could still reach the green when I wasn’t eating my best swing. Ted knows this golf course very well, and I trust him every step of the way. I had a lot of ups and downs, so if I could pick a part of my game that was the best, I’d say it was probably my Lob Wage.
Speaking of the wedge game, how important was the chip-in in the third hole?
I would say that the most important thing for me was to move the ball up and down, but getting it inside was obviously off the chart, but my main goal was just to go up and down and see it go. There was something special. Paring 4 and 5 were huge as well. After that I kind of just started cruising. I felt comfortable with most aspects of my game and I felt like I was never going to build a boogie.
Did you keep an eye on the leaderboard all day?
For the most part I didn’t look at the leaderboard. I noticed at one point that Rory had posted 7-under, and then Cam and I got a little tighter there after birding 11. I built a huge par put there. After that he made a mistake at 12, and I did a nice up-and-down and played some good golf after that. I just kept my head down, kept pushing and trying to hit good shots and stay aggressive. The moment you remove your foot from the gas and play too conservatively, the bogies may just start to stare. You have to play offensively and hit good shots. You can’t just break your path. I knew in the back nine and what I was trying to do was just shoot good shots.
Eight weeks ago today, you won our first PGA Tour. Now you have four wins in the last six starts. Can you ever imagine how all this is going to play out? And besides you played great golf, have you seen it coming? Did you put it down?
I will say ‘no’ to both of them! I was not a person who liked to look too far into the future. So, for me, just being present always works best.
The Masters brings a lot of life-changing things, but how excited are you to be back here year after year?
That’s the great part about this whole deal. This is such a fun golf course. Augusta National is as cool as it gets. I can’t believe I can come back and enjoy this golf course for the rest of my life.
Many top players, including John Rahm, Bryson Dichambu and Justin Thomas, have talked about the impact of the Tigers on their game. What is the effect of Tiger on you?
Oh well. I played Tiger’s Iron this week, put on his shoes and put on his shirt. Tiger has done so much to play golf. And I, and all my colleagues, are very happy to have him back here. He’s a golf needle. He has completely changed the PGA Tour since he came on tour 25 years or more ago. And his YouTube clips are an inspiration to me. I remember seeing the highlights of his victory in ’97, running away with it, and he never broke his concentration. Something that reminded me today. I tried not to see. I tried to keep my head down and keep doing what I was doing, because I didn’t want to break my concentration. I only did the 18th green and I had a five shot lead and okay, now I can enjoy it. And you saw that result. Thanks, Tiger.