Scottie Scheffler looked every bit the top player in the World Golf Rankings in his first and second rounds at The Masters on Thursday and Friday, shooting a 3-under 69 with four birdies on Thursday, and a 5-under 67 with seven birdies on Friday. That gave him a five-shot lead entering the weekend.
Through 17 holes Thursday, Scheffler was bogey-free and one stroke off the lead. But he closed with a bogey on 18. He then started Friday bogey-birdie-bogey on the first three holes, before carding six more birdies the rest of the way, surging into the 36-hole lead.
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Scheffler arrived at Augusta playing as well as anyone in the world with victories in three of the last five events he started. He won his first career PGA Tour event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Feb. 13, then took the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 6 and the Dell Technologies Match Play on March 27.
That led to the 25-year-old, who played collegiately at the University of Texas, becoming the No. 1 player in the world last week for the first time in his young career.
“My friends are still making fun of me, I’ve still got to do my chores at home and nothing really changes,” he said Tuesday while reflecting on his rise to the top of the rankings. “It’s been really cool to see the guys come up and say congrats and, you know, be genuinely happy for me. I think the environment out here on tour is pretty cool when it comes to that kind of stuff.”
After getting his first victory in February, Scheffler gave thanks to God in an Instagram post:
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Also included among those Scheffler thanked in the post was his caddie, Ted Scott. Scott and Bubba Watson parted ways late last year after more than a decade together. Their run included Masters titles in 2012 and 2014.
Scheffler and Scott first met through a Bible study about a year before they teamed up. When Scheffler called Scott, he told the longtime caddie he wanted to work with a Christian. Their first tournament together was the RSM Classic in November.
“He keeps things loose,” Scheffler said this week about Scott. “We have a lot of fun together. I respect him a lot as a person, and I respect his work ethic as a caddie. And so, for me, it’s been a pretty easy relationship so far just because I respect him so much.”
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Scott joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2018 to discuss his own faith journey and what life is like as a Christian on the PGA Tour.
“People a lot of times think, well, if you become a Christian, God’s just gonna make everything easy for you, and that’s not the case,” he said on the podcast. “But having the God of the universe, the Creator, on your side just makes things a lot easier to deal with. And the principles of the Bible are something that, when you use them, you can see it manifest in your life.”
Scheffler is among the favorites in just his third Masters appearance and is in position to keep his streak of top-20 finishes alive. He finished tied for 19th at the 2020 Masters, and tied for 18th last year.
While he mentioned his competitive nature multiple times in the buildup to Thursday’s opening round, Scheffler believes it is faith, family and friends that give his life meaning.
“I’m a Christian guy, so that’s important to me,” he said in a 2019 interview with PGATour.com. “But even if you’re not a Christian, life is important to spend with people you enjoy. If you don’t have close, quality friends, I don’t think whatever you’re doing is important. So that would be my most important advice to someone. Find something you enjoy doing, and enjoy doing it with other people.”
Scheffler tees off for his third round at 2:50 p.m. ET Saturday.
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