Winter 2023

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler firm in his faith as he attempts to defend Masters title

Only three golfers have ever won back-to-back Masters, and they are some of the biggest names in the history of the sport: Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Scottie Scheffler has a chance to join that exclusive group this week as he attempts to defend last year’s title.

Though history says the odds are stacked against him, Scheffler arrived at Augusta National Golf Club in about as good of a position as he could realistically hope for. He is the No. 1 player in the World Golf Ranking and has already won two events this year.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

The 26-year-old shot 19-under at the WM Phoenix Open in February and won The Players Championship a month later with a 17-under. He hasn’t finished worse than tied for 12th in the seven events he’s played in 2023.

As part of the week’s festivities leading up to the Masters, Scheffler as the defending champion got to pick the menu for the Champions Dinner, which took place Tuesday night. Only past Masters winners are invited. Among the items served: cheeseburger sliders, ribeye steak, chocolate chip cookie skillet.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Masters (@themasters)

Scheffler also spoke to the media Tuesday and explained that his life hasn’t changed as much as people might think since becoming a major winner and one of the top players on the PGA Tour.

“When you have success in whatever field it is — and I think ours especially when people see it happen on TV — I think they expect you to change, and you’d think I’m a significantly different person than I was a year and a half ago,” he said. “But when it comes to life at home, everything is still the exact same.”

While Scheffler wound up winning by three strokes last year, the sense of calm he displayed on the course was not representative of how he was feeling that Sunday morning. The stress and uncertainty brought him to tears.

His wife, Meredith, reminded him that he was playing for God’s glory no matter how the final 18 holes went.

“I would say it’s easier for me to rely on the Lord when things are bad than when things are really good,” Scheffler said while discussing his emotions before the final round on the College Golf Fellowship podcast. “And so, in that moment, I think that was Him really breaking us down again.”

The former University of Texas star also said on the podcast that he used to think he could do everything on his own. His perspective changed when he realized his need for a Savior.

“I think one of the most profound things in my walk of faith is recognizing my need for a Savior, not believing that I could connect with God but believing that God was the One connecting with me,” he said.

Scheffler is not shy about sharing his faith and talking about the foundational role it plays in his life. After winning the Masters a year ago, he made it clear that his top priority is bringing glory to God.

“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 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.”

Scheffler will tee off Thursday at 1:36 p.m. ET alongside Max Homa and amateur Sam Bennett. The group begins its second round at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

RELATED STORIES: 
Scottie Scheffler wins Masters, says ‘reason I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God’
Scottie Scheffler voted PGA Tour Player of the Year as his identity remains in Christ
Sam Burns beats good friend, brother in Christ Scottie Scheffler in playoff at Colonial
Scottie Scheffler staying grounded in faith during rise to golf’s world No. 1
SS PODCAST: Pro golfer Seth Reeves on idolatry, performance, glorifying God