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The Gesture That Proves Scottie Scheffler is a Class Act

By: | Mon 22 Apr 2024

The Masters is done and dusted but please forgive me for lavishing a bit more praise on Scottie Scheffler - and not for anything that he did while playing Augusta National.

His golf over the 72 holes of tournament action was simply peerless. He drove the ball superbly. He struck one glorious iron shot after another. And he putted like a god.

It is difficult to believe now but only a few months ago serious questions were being asked about his putting stroke. Scheffler was adamant that there wasn’t a problem. He finally worked out that what was required was a new putter with a standard grip. And, overnight, everything changed. He has now won the Players Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Masters and had pocketed more than $15m in prize money by the middle of April.

But let’s put that to one side for now. It was his gesture after winning that stopped me in my tracks.

Scheffler has made it clear that he does not want to be defined as a human being for what he achieves on the golf course. His wife, Meredith, is heavily pregnant with the couple’s first child and the world number one had announced that if he got news that she was going into labour then he would be high-tailing it out of Georgia, no matter where he stood on the leaderboard or how many holes he had played,. And you just know that he meant it.

When he won The Masters in 2022 he made the walk from the 18th green to the clubhouse arm in arm with Meredith. Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t at Augusta National this time. 

So when Scheffler finished his final round he initially celebrated at greenside with his parents. He then began the walk to the clubhouse and suddenly stopped. "Hey Scotty, come on," he shouted towards his caddie Ted Scott, who was celebrating with his own family.

Scheffler wanted to share this moment with Scott, and the caddie led the way, carrying the flag from the 18th hole and waving it in the air in celebration.

Scottie Scheffler Ted Scott

All of this tells us a great deal about Scheffler and the man he has become. 

If you have watched Scheffler in action you cannot help but be impressed by his calm demeanour, the way he takes everything in his stride. It was not always that way - and he gives Scott credit for his ability to remain calm when things go wrong (admittedly, not very often!). 

He tells a story of finding a shocking lie in a bunker at the Waste Management Open at Phoenix, hitting a miraculous recovery and then throwing a hissy fit when the ball landed in a sprinkler head and stopped dead. He looked to Scott for support, only to realise that his caddie was laughing uncontrollably. And that was the lightbulb moment for the player, when he realised that this is just a game and that he is lucky to play it.

There is something else you should know about Ted Scott. He won The Masters twice with Bubba Watson. And he was a long-suffering bagman for the left-hander. Watson is a God-fearing man but he has a temper on the golf course and would think nothing of verbally abusing Scott when things went awry. And he did so on a regular basis. Scott simply sucked it up until it all got too much and they agreed to part company.

And who is laughing now? Watson is struggling on the LIV Golf tour while Scheffler is, without any argument, the best golfer on the planet - and a delightful man to work for and with.

Scott first came across Scheffler at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2021 when he partnered Watson in the team event "because nobody else wanted to play with Bubba". After the tournament they went their separate ways, but Watson and Scott split early in 2022 - many pundits were surprised they had stuck together for so long.

Scheffler called Scott soon afterwards. Scott said: "When he called me, I had no idea he was that good. We [Scott and Bubba Watson] were his partner in New Orleans. I was like, yeah, he's a good player, and he's a great guy. I'd love to hang out with him.

"After two weeks, I was like, this guy is really good. Now it's like, wow, he is really, really good. I'm surprised, too.

"What is he not good at? I don't know. I think his super power is that people who are super powerful are good at everything, and he seems to be good at everything. He doesn't really have a weakness. People created a weakness in his putting. He's not a weak putter. He's a good putter. He's a very good putter."

Scott was quick to praise Scheffler's patience. "He just seemed focused on doing Scottie Scheffler things," Scott said. "That's what he said on 13. He goes, should we go for it? I said, absolutely. Why don't we do what we do and what we're good at. He's the best ball striker in the world.

"He hit an unbelievable 4-iron, which is just incredible to that small target. Those targets seem big when you're carrying the bag for Scottie Scheffler. That's how good he is.

"I'm just pinching myself honestly. I don't really know what I'm seeing. The guy is special. He's a different kind of special. I think we're all seeing it, and we're all questioning, 'where did this come from?' I've just been very fortunate that great people will take me on as their caddie. I've worked for some incredible golfers. Scottie is just added to the list, and now it's just incredible to be a part of it. I'm just very fortunate."

It says much about Scheffler that he fulfilled his commitment to the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town when he would surely much rather have been at home with his pregnant wife. 

That gesture on the walk to the clubhouse was an act of sheer class - and I expect we will see many more in the months and years that lie ahead for this pairing.

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Tags: the masters Masters Augusta National

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