Scottie Scheffler’s second Masters win is what greatness looks like

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — The statistical models had it all mapped out. The narrative told in his recent form was the world’s most obvious foreshadowing. His pre-tournament news conference — in which he once again spoke of golf as something that he “does” and not as something that defines his life — practically solidified it.

Scottie Scheffler was always going to win the 88th Masters Tournament. And Sunday, he simply made it happen.

“It’s really impressive,” Max Homa said after losing to Scheffler by seven shots. “You just know that he’s going to be there, and he’s going to play well.”

By slipping on his second green jacket in two years Sunday afternoon, Scheffler became the second player to win the Masters and The Players Championship in the same season, joining Tiger Woods. Scheffler was already frequenting the same sentences as the 15-time major champion, but now it’s clear that will become a weekly ritual, perhaps for many years.

We are witnessing a display of greatness we haven’t seen in some time from anyone, and we should cherish the gift. Scheffler is the type of player who has that rare gravitational pull. When he expertly plots his way around a golf course and leaves his peers in the dust, it’s difficult to look away. It doesn’t look like we’ll need to anytime soon.

Scheffler’s dominance emanates from his 6-3 build. He swings with a freedom and flexibility that defies physics. Randy Smith, Scheffler’s coach since he was 7 years old, says the Texan has “the best pair of hands I’ve ever seen in my life.” His athletic figure allows him to harness immense power, and his unwavering fundamentals keep the ball in the fairway. Though it might disappear from time to time, he proved that his touch and eye for Augusta National’s undulating greens are unmatched.

But the true source of Scheffler’s dominance rests between his ears.

In his green jacket ceremony, Scheffler apologized to the patrons of Augusta National for walking with his head down throughout Sunday’s round.

Scheffler heard the warm applause on every tee box and every green. He felt the roars. He saw the outstretched hands protruding past the gallery ropes. Out of the corners of his eyes, he sensed the presence of hundreds of young golfers looking to contribute to their role model’s final-round push in any way they could, to somehow claim a stake in his second Masters victory.

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But Scheffler kept his gaze pointed downward. He didn’t like it, but there wasn’t time for any of that Sunday. There never is — just like there isn’t time for scouring over unnecessary TrackMan data or sitting through long-winded interviews that delve into his personal life. Scheffler doesn’t have a single social media platform downloaded on his phone. He has all the digital golf publications on the internet blocked from his newsfeed so he can stay informed but simultaneously above the fray.

“Nothing,” says Rory McIlroy when asked what’s going on in Scheffler’s head right now. “Nothing. Not a lot of clutter. The game feels pretty easy when you’re in stretches like this. That’s the hard thing whenever you’re not quite in form. You are searching and you’re thinking about it so much, but then when you are in form, you don’t think about it at all.”

The scariest part of Scheffler’s greatness is that it’s starting to come easily.

Until the final putt dropped and he launched into a long embrace with his caddie, Ted Scott, Scheffler’s four-shot victory at the Masters looked emotionless. That was never the case. Scheffler’s performance coach, Troy Van Biezen, says Scheffler’s superpower rests in the fact you can never tell if he’s 5 over par or 5 under par.

Scheffler wanted to win this tournament, badly. He told his friends Sunday morning that he wished he didn’t have such an intense competitive hunger. “I told them, I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as I did or as badly as I do. I think it would make the mornings easier,” Scheffler said.


Scottie Scheffler celebrated with his family after his second Masters win. (Adam Cairns / USA Today)

Scheffler has the ultimate want and the will — he always has. As a teenager, Scheffler would show up to Royal Oaks, his home course in Dallas, wearing pants rather than golf shorts to mirror his PGA Tour idols. He stayed patient through a yearslong growth spurt that derailed his swing into his early 20s. He’s played one season on the Korn Ferry Tour and four years on the PGA Tour, and Scheffler has not once thrown in the towel when things did not seem to be going his way.

Scheffler has the drive, but he also has the separation. The 27-year-old devout Christian — who will become a father when his wife, Meredith, gives birth to their first child soon — knows that golf isn’t everything. Scheffler was prepared to withdraw from the Masters if he got the call from Meredith, and now, all he wants to do is go home to her.

“My identity is secure already,” Scheffler said Sunday evening. “I get to come out here and compete, have fun, enjoy it; and then at the end of the day, win or lose, my identity is secure.”

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Scheffler’s unique concoction of mental and physical traits has led him to become a generational talent. Sunday, as he found Augusta’s table-top-sized landing areas with ease and continued to pour in birdie putts when the tournament was already his, Scheffler proved that.

His disposition isn’t changing, and he’s not going anywhere.

This is only the beginning, and we’ll want to remember it.

(Top photo: Andrew Redington / Getty Images)



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