Summer 2024

Scottie Scheffler dominates Arnold Palmer Invitational, but knows 'my life's not a golf score'

Scottie Scheffler proved this weekend why he is the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, breezing to a title in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando. His four-day score of 15 under par was five strokes clear of the second-place finisher, Wyndham Clark.

Scheffler’s margin of victory was the largest at Bay Hill since 2012 and the largest for a world No. 1 on the PGA Tour since 2020. Sunday marked the seventh win of the 27-year-old’s PGA Tour career, including the 2022 Masters and now two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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“It had been a while since I won,” Scheffler said in his press conference on Sunday with the large, silver trophy by his side. “… As far as a PGA Tour event, it had been almost a year, and so there had been a lot of chatter about my game and the state of where it was at. So it was nice to kind of come in here with a good mental attitude and to perform well under pressure.”

Breaking his winless streak was a matter, Scheffler said, of keeping his performance in perspective. Rory McIlroy had a chance to overtake him for world No. 1 this weekend, but Scheffler played free because he said his identity doesn’t lie in golf rankings.

“I try not to place too much of my identity in what I do out here on the golf course,” he said in the press conference. “There’s a whole other part of my life that is not in front of you guys that I think is what’s most important to me.

“So, yeah, my life’s not a golf score, it’s not how many trophies I’m going to win, it’s not anything like that. I’m proud to have a great wife (Meredith) and a great family, and we have great friends at home and I’m very grateful for the other part of my life that’s away from the golf course.”

Scheffler has explained previously that his true identity is found in Jesus. His relationship with Christ is at the core of who he is.

In a story for the Summer 2022 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine, he shared that “my identity is not as being a Masters champion — is not what I shot — and that frees me up a lot. God has given us a skill we feel we’re using for His glory.”

Scheffler said his parents would take him to church during his formative years in Dallas, but he would rarely invest himself in church life. That all changed during college at the University of Texas thanks to God’s work in his life through the ministry College Golf Fellowship. There, he learned what it looked like to glorify God through his sport.

“You’ve really got to look at the motivation for why I play. For me, I have a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Scheffler said after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2022. “That’s why I play golf. I’m out here to compete because that’s where He wants me. He’s in control of what happens in the end. So just really staying the course and staying faithful and letting Him be the guidance for me versus anything that I do.”

Following his Masters victory in 2022, while celebrating an accomplishment most professional golfers never reach, Scheffler turned the praise away from himself and revealed his true purpose as a golfer.

“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.”

Scheffler will try to make it two wins in a row against his PGA Tour competitors this weekend at The Players Championship, the prestigious tournament held each year in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Before his win on Sunday, Scheffler’s last victory came at The Players a year ago.

Though The Players has been dubbed by some as golf’s “fifth major,” the first official major tournament of the 2024 season is The Masters starting April 11.

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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