Scheffler’s journey to the Masters a true family affair

Apr 10, 2022, 11:10 PM | Updated: Apr 11, 2022, 8:50 pm
Scottie Scheffler celebrates after winning the 86th Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 10, 20...

Scottie Scheffler celebrates after winning the 86th Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — It doesn’t seem that long ago to Scott Scheffler that he was standing on the green behind Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, dutifully holding a flashlight while his only son — just 5 or 6 at the time — hit shots in the dark.

And if one of Scottie Scheffler’s wayward strokes happened to smack into one of his sisters, so be it.

“He used to yell,” Scott Scheffler said. “He would yell at us when he hit it. He would hit the girls.”

It’s what brothers do.

Nearly two decades later, Scottie Scheffler’s aim is considerably better. Yes, that was the kid who used to peg his siblings with impunity tugging the green jacket over his broad shoulders after winning the Masters on Sunday afternoon.

And yes, that was most of the Scheffler clan — sisters Callie and Molly (other sister Sara is in Portugal) along with Scott and wife Diane — huddled together just outside Butler Cabin to celebrate a jet-fueled rise to the top that really wasn’t that jet-fueled at all.

There were the days back in north New Jersey when the Scheffler kids were introduced to the game. They moved to Dallas when Diane switched law firms as a chief operating officer. They quickly decided to join Royal Oaks Country Club, mostly because it meant Scott Scheffler could keep all four kids in one place.

While Scott Scheffler understands his son’s origin story takes a familiar narrative and turns it on his head — it was Scott who served as the stay-at-home dad while Diane worked — he doesn’t see it as revolutionary or strange or uncommon.

“It’s just what you do as a father for your children,” Scott Scheffler said, his eyes wet with tears while wearing a white Masters polo shirt on the grounds of a club where his son is now a champion. “You do for your kids you know. I’ve done for all of them. They’ve given us great joy. He’s the one that did all the hard work, not me. I just raised him and tried the best I could to be a good dad.”

Maybe, but someone had to get Team Scheffler to all those sporting events. Youth golf tournaments. High school basketball practices. The list is seemingly endless. The fact it was dad doing most of the driving hardly mattered.

“Wasn’t unusual for me,” Scottie Scheffler said. “I didn’t know any different. Fortunately for me, I grew up with three sisters and my dad was there, and he did a great job raising us.”

Scott Scheffler made it a point to make sure his kids were well-rounded. While stressing “I’m no guru,” he pointed out how vital it was to make sure Scottie didn’t focus on golf all the time. He tried as a sophomore at Highland Park High School only to realize he missed playing basketball too much. So it was back to the basketball team the following year.

Yet Scottie was hardly the only athlete in the family. Callie Scheffler played at Texas A&M and served as Scottie’s caddie when he qualified for the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont as an amateur, and Molly and Sara are players, too.

While Scott Scheffler laughingly admitted, “Schefflers have their issues, but they’re good people,” he grew more serious when asked what the world needs to know about the unassuming 25-year-old board game aficionado who is now the hottest golfer on the planet.

“He’s just a nice young kid,” Scott Scheffler said. “Born in New Jersey and raised in Texas. He’s got a little bit of both, which is wonderful. Just our son and Meredith’s husband and now I guess he’s the world’s.”

The family bonds extend beyond Team Scheffler.

Randy Smith, the PGA Hall of Fame pro, has worked with Scottie for years, and Randy’s son, Blake, is Scheffler’s agent. Blake and Scottie met soon after the Schefflers joined Royal Oaks and the two would play together when they could.

That relationship between the Schefflers and the Smiths has only deepened through the years. Maybe that’s why Randy leaned over on Scottie’s bag as he was inside signing his scorecard after the biggest tournament — so far — of his still burgeoning career.

Randy was over at Scheffler’s house on Saturday night, trying to get him to relax as he sat on a three-shot lead heading into Sunday. They worked on Scheffler’s alignment. On his ball position. And on his mood, watching Instagram videos in an effort to keep things light.

While Scheffler admitted his stomach had been hurting over the weekend and he cried Sunday morning because of the pressure, he hardly looked rattled while posting a 1-under 71 that gave him a three-shot victory. There was just one major hiccup, a four-putt on the 18th with his win assured, though Smith couldn’t help but laugh when asked at what point he finally relaxed.

“When he made his fourth putt (at 18),” Smith said. “We’ll go figure out what went on.”

There’s time to exhale, but not much. In early February, Scheffler was still searching for his first PGA Tour win. In early April, he’s on the kind of run that he couldn’t have imagined while drilling putts into the north Jersey nights, hardly worried about where the putt went, who it hit, or whether mom or dad was one driving them home.

“He’s public now, which is a little bit scary,” Scott Scheffler said.

Just don’t expect Scottie to forget where he came from. Scott and Diane Scheffler’s only son is well aware he hardly made the journey from Bergen Community College to Augusta National alone.

“They didn’t parent perfectly, obviously, but for me, they did the best they could all the time, and I love them for that,” Scheffler said. “You know, I can’t speak highly enough of the hard work that they have put in. I can’t put it into words, I really can’t.”

___

More AP Masters coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/the-masters

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Chevrolet logo is displayed at the 2020 Pittsburgh International Auto Show Thursday, Feb...
Associated Press

GM recalls 484K big SUVs to fix problem third-row seat belts

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling more than 484,000 large SUVs in the U.S. to fix a problem that can cause the third-row seat belts to malfunction. The recall covers Chevrolet Suburbans and Tahoes, Cadillac Escalades and GMC Yukons from the 2021 and 2022 model years. The automaker says in documents posted Tuesday by […]
6 hours ago
This cover image released by Gallery Books shows "Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and ...
Associated Press

ESPN’s Stephen A Smith has memoir coming in January 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Dallas Cowboy fans be warned: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has a memoir coming out next year. 13A, an imprint of Gallery Books, announced Tuesday that Smith’s “Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes” is scheduled for January 2023. According to 13A, Smith will share stories about growing up […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

American Airlines places deposit on 20 supersonic planes

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets and put down a non-refundable deposit on the planes that are still on the drawing board and years away from flying. Neither American nor the manufacturer Boom Supersonic would provide financial details Tuesday, including the size of American’s deposit. American becomes […]
6 hours ago
FILE - A woman wheels a cart with her purchases out of a Walmart, on Nov. 18, 2020, in Derry, N.H. ...
Associated Press

Walmart tops Q2 expectations as Americans continue spending

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported better-than-expected second quarter results as more Americans looked to cut costs on groceries at the nation’s largest retailer in the face of surging inflation. Those rising prices, however, meant that customers where cutting back on non-necessary purchases. Walmart Inc. earned $5.15 billion, or $1.88 per share, or $1.77 excluding […]
6 hours ago
This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, center ...
Associated Press

Satellite images show first ship out of Ukraine in Syria

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The first shipment of grain to leave Ukraine under a wartime deal appears to have ended up in Syria — even as Damascus remains a close ally of Moscow, satellite images analyzed Tuesday by The Associated Press show. The arrival of the cargo ship Razoni in Syria comes after […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Millennial Money: A scarcity money mindset can cost you

We all saw it at grocery stores in 2020. The shelves, once brimming with toilet paper and hand soap, were bare. We hid in our homes, deep-cleaning every surface, occasionally braving the threat of COVID-19 to hunt down the last remaining bottle of hand sanitizer in a 50-mile radius. We felt out of control, so […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Scheffler’s journey to the Masters a true family affair