Golf star Scotty Scheffler’s sizzling snooze

He is golf’s Mr. Decoff. Doesn’t run too hot or too cold. I will not set the world on fire with an incendiary quote. Still driving the old car from college. Looks like he’s wearing khaki even if he’s not wearing khaki. As controversial as an apple.

He’s Scottie Scheffler, your defending Masters champion, the No. 1 player in the world, the favorite to play Augusta again this year — and the most likely to return to golf’s most hallowed weekend in a quiet, respectful submission.

Bored? Tired like a racer! Hibernate Scheffler at their peril. The 26-year-old from Texas by way of New Jersey may not be the sexiest player in golf, but beneath that cool, calm exterior is…well, a calm interior.

Silence is Scheffler’s forte. The Texas Longhorn graduate (big: finances, of course) keeps the unflappable unflappable. Since coming to the top of the game early last year, Scheffler has been a marvel of consistency. He repeated his breakthrough win at the Phoenix Open in February, and he recently won the Players Championship by five strokes. He stumbled to a six-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship last summer—but it’s surprising that Scheffler’s weekend didn’t go well.

The secret formula? No, actually. Scheffler keeps things simple, eschewing the flamboyant sophistication that would avoid court trouble. He can carry it off the tee-Look at his sliding feet, an unorthodox move he somehow pulls off—but his real wizardry is all around Green. He certainly admits to nerves, but he avoids the emotional roller coasters that undo his competition, turning golf into the most consistent soul-crushing activity on Earth.

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It’s unsettling. Weird, indeed. Scheffler plays golf so quietly it’s almost as if he doesn’t even play golf.

Golf loves the loud character—the player who plays big and talks loud—but Scheffler’s mid-range energy may be what the game needs right now. If you follow it, you know that the industry has become unusually spicy. The Saudi-sponsored league, LIV, has poached talent with extravagant promises. A traditional brand, the PGA Tour has been improving itself to retain top players.

Everyone has an opinion. There are rumblings and whispers of clubhouse beef everywhere. It’s like Sharks and Jets, but with Amex Centurion cards on the Vineyard.

Scheffler flies above the cloud line. He’s been called “Tragedy” in the golf community, but he’s never been on the field. Even as he joked before his Masters Champions Dinner that he was friendly with his LIV colleagues — Scheffler’s menu was topped with “Scotty Sliders,” mini-hamburgers, and French fries — LIV intended to stick the handicapped Bubba Watson to a table by himself.

Scotty Scheffler poses with the trophy after winning the 2022 Masters title.


Andrew Reddington/Getty Images

Yes: Scheffler is joking, though he keeps it all for the audience. He impressed Golf Digest His encyclopedic knowledge She was caught on camera during a Netflix episode of the TV show “The Office.”s

“Full Swing” reality show is an innocuous story about his caddy, Ted Scott, as his wife, Meredith, eats popcorn in bed. (Scheffler would wake up with kernels all over him.) He took the cameras “full swing” and walked to his local coffee shop. Of course he did. Did you expect Scheffler to take them out for absinthe at Chateau Marmont?

Sometimes he lets the fans in a little more. After her Masters win last year, Scheffler admitted she “cried like a baby” before the final round because of all the build-up and pressure. He was honest about his belief that God was in control. “If I shoot 82 [on the last day], I am going to use it somehow for His glory,” he said. For all his recent success, he still hasn’t spent big: He’s stuck with his college ride, a 2012 GMC Yukon XL, though he can afford a McLaren’s garage.

Golf revels in its vintage icons — watch the swagger of 47-year-old Tiger Woods and 52-year-old Phil Mickelson on Thursday and Friday, even as older rivals hit long shots. McIlroy, a favorite with Scheffler, is a charmer because of his past harassment at Augusta and his sharp criticism of the LIV Exodus. John Rahm, the third member of the PGA “Big Three” along with McIlroy and Scheffler, is also looking to break through. There will be buzz around LIV talent like Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith, and next-level buzz if LIVister is a contender on Sunday.

Scheffler likes to stay in the mix. He’s not going to captivate the weekend like the Tiger Rush, and he’s humble enough to know his impact is in its early stages. “Heritage is a complicated thing,” he said the other day. “I’m going to be forgotten in a hundred years, and that’s no big deal.” He would leave the star to others. Scotty Scheffler wants to be there.

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Write to Jason Gay at [email protected]

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