Scottie Scheffler chill amid all the Masters expectations

Scottie Scheffler hits his second shot on the eighth fairway during the practice round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Scottie Scheffler hits his second shot on the eighth fairway during the practice round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Jason Getz /

AUGUSTA — On a warming earth, Scottie Scheffler only gets cooler. Scottie Scheffler is so cool, the azalea buds shiver when he walks by and postpone their bloom another day. He is cooler than Beyonce’s freezer.

So Scottie — I guess when he turns 40 or so we can start calling him Scott, but that wouldn’t be as cool — shouldn’t be too affected by all the noise he’s attracting at this Masters.

You can make him the shortest-odds favorite to win this tournament in a decade — a borderline ludicrous 4-to-1, the kind of skinny number that hasn’t been posted since Tiger Woods in his prime — and it doesn’t matter. Scheffler is custom made to freeze out such static.

You can heap expectation upon him by the gross ton — listen to ESPN Masters host Scott Van Pelt: “If (Scheffler) putts well, then he’ll win; it’s really that simple isn’t it?” — and he’ll scarcely notice. He’ll just go to his next shot, swing hard employing the unorthodox footwork of a man just realizing his shoes have caught fire, hit it close, no doubt, and seem totally unimpressed.

You can bask in the reflected glow of the world’s No. 1 player on an almost tyrannical hot streak right now, but don’t expect Scheffler to join in and work on tanning his ego. This is a guy who loved telling the story a month ago of a fan congratulating him on his stay atop the world rankings, then adding “Only 11 more years to go.” Thus putting his total time at No. 1 in modest perspective to that of Woods.

(Lest we ever forget how dominant Woods was, here are the scary numbers: Woods was at the top for a total of more than 13 years. Scheffler’s total stands at 82 weeks. Woods holds the record of 281 consecutive weeks at No. 1. Scheffler is currently at 47.)

As Scheffler keeps winning, though, people seem to want to rush him into Woods’ company. So much sounder and more consistent is Scheffler’s tee-to-green game compared to his peers that it’s hard not to get carried away. And as Woods has faded, the golf public badly wants to find someone else to carry it away.


Even those who have studiously watched others like Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas be measured for Tiger-level domination — and inevitably come up just short — are not deterred.

“I think it’s very fair,” two-time U.S. Open champ and ESPN analyst Andy North said of the Scheffler-Woods comparison talk.

“If you get past his footwork and the things you see on TV, he’s able to put the club on the ball as well as anybody we’ve had in a while,” North said. “He’s got a beautiful combination of current generation skills and a lot of old school, grind-it-out, play-shots kind of guy. I think that’s a beautiful combination. I love what he’s doing on the golf course.”

Scheffler’s not going to get drawn into the conversation.

So the 2022 Masters champion just keeps saying things like:

“Sometimes I can’t believe it myself, walking in the (Augusta National) champions locker room.”

“I’m kind of somebody who likes to stay out of the way of things.”

And: “At the end of the day, life goes on, a lot more than just my golf score. This is just one little phase of my life, and it just happens to be in front of an audience. But outside of that, you know, home’s a lot more important to me than out here (the course).”

So cool.

Since collecting his first PGA Tour win in February of 2022 in Phoenix, Scheffler has only gained speed. He’s already won the Players Championship twice, has eight PGA Tour wins at the age of 27 and in the run-up to this Masters has two wins, a second and a third in his previous five tournaments.

Through it all, he has managed to still sound like the same kid from Texas for whom golf was not the be-all, end-all. As he related here this week: “The way I was raised, golf wasn’t really a huge deal in my house. It was just something that I always loved to do.

“I think sometimes you see a lot of parents who really want their kid to become really, really good at something, and they think that’s what’s going to bring them joy. But becoming a really good golfer may bring you a little bit of momentary joy, but it doesn’t sustain it for very long. Winning a tournament makes me happy for about five minutes, and then you got to do a bunch of other things that are a little bit more difficult than winning the tournament.”

Asked the source of his unflappability, Scheffler routinely mentions a foundational faith. Then he leans on the mantra of not letting a game define him – and saying it in a quiet, committed way that is easy to believe.

Time at the top, he knows, can be terribly tenuous. “I like competing out here, and hopefully I’ll be out here competing for a long, long time,” Scheffler said. “But life throws crazy stuff at you sometimes. So we’ll see how long it happens. Hoping it’s going to be a long time.”

No player since Woods has come to a Masters fitted with such an imperative to win. It’s an expectation that borders on certainty, which is sheer folly in a game where each swing comes with a dozen different ways to fail.

But if anyone can handle the heat, it is Scheffler. The man is cool. He begins his Masters at 10:42 Thursday morning – unless when he steps to the tee he sets off a temporary frost delay.