Golfer Scottie Scheffler capped off his remarkable year on Saturday when he was voted by his peers as the 2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year. The recognition comes in a breakout season for Scheffler in which he captured the first four tournament wins of his career, including the Masters.
Scheffler, who holds the No. 1 world ranking after first seizing it in April, was surprised with the award on ESPN’s “College GameDay” on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Texas. The 26-year-old became the first golfer ever to win the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year (2019), PGA Tour Rookie of the Year (2020) and PGA Tour Player of the Year.
A SUPRISE FOR SCOTTIE ❤️
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 10, 2022
In addition to Scheffler’s four wins in 2022, he accumulated seven other top-10 finishes and was tied for second in the FedEx Cup. His $14.05 million in earnings was more than any other player during one season in PGA Tour history.
“One of the highest compliments a player can receive is the endorsement from his peers, and the fact that Scottie’s season was both dominant and consistent spoke volumes to the membership,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said, according to CBSSports.com. “… With young stars like Scottie leading the way, the PGA Tour is in great hands for many years to come.”
Throughout his breakout season, Scheffler shared about his faith in Christ. After his first career PGA Tour victory, the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, he took to Instagram to thank God for the experience.
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In the social media post, Scheffler also expressed his gratitude to caddie Ted Scott, a fellow believer in Christ who also served as Bubba Watson‘s caddie for more than a decade. Scheffler and Scott first met through a Bible study, and Scheffler said it was important to him to have a caddie who shared his Christian convictions.
With Scott by his side, Scheffler’s wins began to come in bunches. Three weeks after his victory in Phoenix, Scheffler captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Three weeks after that, he won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and earned the No. 1 world ranking. Scheffler’s meteoric rise culminated two weeks later at the Masters, seizing the lead early and holding on throughout the weekend to secure his first major championship.
In the press conference following that win, Scheffler was asked about not letting his competitive nature define him as a person.
“The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life,” he said. “So for me, my identity isn’t a golf score. Like (my wife) Meredith told me this morning, ‘If you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots, if you never win another golf tournament again,’ she goes, ‘I’m still going to love you. You’re still going to be the same person. Jesus loves you and nothing changes.’ All I’m trying to do is glorify God and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I’m in this position.”
When Scheffler isn’t busy on the PGA Tour, he and his good friend Sam Burns (a fellow PGA Tour pro who beat Scheffler in a head-to-head playoff in May to win the Charles Schwab Challenge) use their platform to speak at retreats with College Golf Fellowship. The ministry exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ through the world of collegiate golf.
“That was my third year, and to have [Burns] be a part of it as well was really fun for the both of us,” Scheffler said in a feature for the Summer 2022 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine. “If some of our experience can have a positive experience on some of those guys’ lives, then that’s something that we’re going to want to do for a long time.”
Scheffler says everything about his life has been changed by the finished work of Christ on the cross. No matter how many majors or awards he ends up winning in his golf career, he knows he will never outgrow his need for Jesus.
“One of the most profound things in my walk of faith was recognizing my need for a Savior,” Scheffler said in the magazine. “Not believing that I could connect with God, but believing that God could connect with me.”
– Scottie Scheffler wins Masters, says ‘reason I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God’
– Sam Burns beats good friend, brother in Christ Scottie Scheffler in playoff
– Scottie Scheffler staying grounded in faith during rise to golf’s world No. 1
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