Home » Masters 2024: Scottie Scheffler’s very different Augusta victories – Australian Golf Digest

Masters 2024: Scottie Scheffler’s very different Augusta victories – Australian Golf Digest

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Scottie Scheffler arrived this week at Augusta National Golf Club with his mind and his heart in two places but with his game in a very good place. He had to leave his wife Meredith at home in Dallas, where she is weeks away from giving birth to the couple’s first child. Exciting times. But first, the soon-to-be father had a job to do.

And he’s very good at his job.

Scheffler won his second Masters in three years on Sunday, finishing off a mission he seemed destined to complete by delivering the kind of butt-kicking that was expected of him. With six birdies in his last 11 holes, Scheffler shot a closing four-under 68 for a 277 total and a four-stroke victory over debutante Ludvig Aberg.

The No. 1 player in the world and once again performing at a singularly elite level, Scheffler was a heavy favorite to capture another green jacket. That was not unlike two years ago, when he had won three times leading into the year’s first major. But a significant difference this time was the absence of Meredith, though, undoubtedly, she was heavy on his mind all week.

So, he wasn’t really alone.

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Other than the commanding way in which he won again, there were few similarities between the two wins, starting with the emotion of the moment. In 2022, having recently risen to World No. 1, Scheffler forged a three-stroke lead over Australia’s Cameron Smith after 54 holes. Still, he broke down in tears Sunday morning, unsure if he was ready for the moment. Meredith was there to assure him that he was.

“Going into Sunday, Meredith and I were just a little bit emotional about what was going on at the time because our lives were changing at a very rapid pace,” Scheffler said Saturday after taking a one-stroke lead over Collin Morikawa. “Now, I think we have settled more into where our lives are at, and right now the most exciting thing is not winning the Masters—it’s a baby coming pretty soon. Things are a lot different now, and I feel like we’ve both matured.”

This time around, he had to settle for daily phone calls with Meredith, always with the knowledge in the back of his mind that if she were the one making the call, Scottie was going to skedaddle back to Dallas, no matter the hour or his place on the leaderboard. You wouldn’t have blamed him for holding his breath and hoping that the child could wait for the due date in a few weeks; after all, he admitted that he has yet to finish the nursery.

As a golfer and as a person he is much more of a finished product, happy to tell anyone who will listen that he does not define himself by his success as a golfer. (Although his third win in his last four events defines him as particularly decent one.) Perhaps that’s yet another change. Two years ago, Scheffler obviously was in the process of figuring out who he would become as a player, person and man of prayer. Now he has arrived. Happily married. Thankful to be able to use his talents to the fullest. Blessed by his faith. Husband. Father. Christian. Golfer.

A man in full. And fulfilled.

Just about all he could think about prior to the final round was winning. Scheffler is one intensely competitive dude. “I was sitting around with my buddies this morning. I was a bit overwhelmed. I told them, ‘I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as I do,’” Scheffler, 27, said. “But I love winning. I hate losing. I really do. And when you’re here in the biggest moments, when I’m sitting there with the lead on Sunday, I really, really want to win badly.”

Masters 2022

Scottie Scheffler’s wife, Meredith, was a calming presense during his 2022 win. This time, she was home in Dallas weeks away from having the couple’s first baby.

Adam Glanzman

Nevertheless, when it was over, and he had won for the second time in five career starts, a contradiction within him was brought into sharp relief.

“I feel like playing professional golf is an endlessly not-satisfying career,” he said. “For instance, in my head, all I can think about right now is getting home. I’m not thinking about the tournament. I’m not thinking about the green jacket. I’m trying to answer your questions, and I’m trying to get home. I wish I could soak this in a little bit more. Maybe I will tonight when I get home. But at the end of the day, I think that’s what the human heart does. You always want more, and I think you have to fight those things and focus on what’s good.”

And what’s good is who is waiting for him back in Texas.

“It’s funny,” he said. “When you get married, a lot of people tend to make jokes about like, ‘Oh, your life is over, yada, yada, yada.’ When it comes to having a kid, every single person says that it changes your life and it’s the most special thing in the world, so I cannot … marriage has been such a tremendous aspect of my life, I cannot even imagine what being a parent is going to be like.”

Without Meredith in Augusta, Scheffler had to take care of some mundane things this week, like making his own breakfast, which, he said, “was an adjustment.” Adjustment? Heh. Just wait until the kid comes.

When housemate Sam Burns missed the cut, Scheffler felt even more alone. He corrected that predicament by inviting some of his closest friends to stay with him. Those were the guys who talked him through the pressure of waiting for his final-round tee time at 2:35 p.m. ET. They kept him focused. And there was no crying. He saved that for Butler Cabin during the green jacket presentation.

“I can’t put into words what it means to win this tournament for a second time, and I really can’t put into words what it means to be a father for the first time,” Scheffler said.

No words necessary, really. Just do the math. No. 1 in the world. Two green jackets. And baby makes three.

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This article was originally published on golfdigest.com