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For more than a week in early April, the big sporting news was Scottie Scheffler winning the Masters. And for good reason. The win at the Masters was his fourth win in his last seven Tour starts. That win was worth $2.7 million; so far in this 2021-22 wraparound season he has won over $10 million.
But basically it all started with the Ryder Cup back in September when Scheffler went 2-0-1 as Steve Stricker’s captain’s pick. Even though he won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2013 and was a star golfer at the University of Texas (known for lots of stars over the years), Scheffler had not won on the PGA Tour. That is until the floodgates opened in early February when he won the WM Phoenix Open. That win was followed by wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 6) and the WGC-Dell Match Play Championships (March 27). By the time Masters week was upon him, Scheffler was No. 1 in the official world golf rankings.
Scottie Scheffler was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but the family moved to Dallas when he was 6. His mother, Diane, became COO of a prestigious law firm in Dallas, but they needed a loan to join Royal Oaks Country Club, which is close to the top of the golf food chain in private clubs. (I played Royal Oaks a few years ago, and it is special.)
The relocation to Dallas was partly prompted by Diane and Scott Scheffler’s desire to hook up their promising 6-year-old golfer with PGA Hall of Fame and Golf Professional Emeritus Randy Smith, who continues as his swing coach today.
Scheffler attended Highland Park High School in a close-to-downtown posh suburb of Dallas – the same high school where Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams quarterback Matt Stafford played ball. During his four high school years, Scheffler played lacrosse, basketball, baseball and football, besides golf. But he loved golf the most because he could play year-round.
Despite the massive news coverage of Scheffler’s Masters victory, there was one glaring element missing from reports from the mainstream media. They left out the fact that Scheffler has strong Christian beliefs, and gave credit to God for the win, which he explained to the press at Augusta National: “The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life,” he told them. While at Highland Park High School, he met his wife Meredith, who has been an anchor for both his golf and his faith.
Scheffler was the overnight Masters leader by 3 shots, and he shared with the press his concerns about his pre-final round emotions. He said when he woke up Sunday morning, “I was crying like a baby,” he admitted, but Meredith was able to calm his fears. He shared how he felt overwhelmed with the prospect of winning the Masters, and that he “might not be ready” for all that was unfolding. Then he revealed: “Meredith told me, ‘Who are you to say that you’re not ready?’ ‘Who am I to say that I know what’s best for my life?’ What we talked about is that God is in control, and the Lord is leading me, and if today’s my time, then it’s my time.” It truly was Scottie’s time.
On Golf.com (the online adjunct to Golf magazine) Michael Bamberger writes, “It’s easy, when writing any sort of game story, to skip right over any mention of God on the part of the protagonists. But when Scheffler talks about his faith it’s in the context of balance … his priority system is just refreshing.” Amen.
Dr. Charlie Blanchard is a licensed psychologist specializing in sports and leadership. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.