Scheffler keeping it real ahead of Masters defence

John Shortt

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler at Augusta National Golf Club, Tuesday, April 4, 2023 (Image: Masters Media)

Defending Champion Scottie Scheffler was in understandably fine fettle ahead of hosting his first Champions Dinner at Augusta National on Tuesday night and while you’d have expected his preparation would be much different this time around, not so though for the world number one, who is making only his fourth Masters appearance.

“As far as my preparation goes, I’ve kept things pretty similar to what they were last year, outside of getting here a few hours earlier on Sunday so I could play more golf. When the tournament starts on Thursday, everybody starts even par. Just because you’re defending doesn’t mean I get to start at 1-under. I’ll be approaching it just like I do a lot of other tournaments.

“I think going into the tournament, I tried to get a little bit of the memories and stuff from last year out of the way as early as I could, so that’s why I played 18 on Sunday.


“But as far as the week has gone, just normal stuff. I have dinner plans tonight (Tuesday), which is pretty fun. Last year I was sitting at home eating dinner. Yeah, dinner this year will be a bit more special.”

And as for those plans. There has been plenty of media speculation about friction between the PGA Tour and LIV players, so what does Scheffler hope the evening will bring?

“I hope it’s more of a celebration than anything. I don’t know what it’s been like in years past. For me it’s such a special group of guys, and the opportunity to get together and enjoy a meal, just us, is a really, really special opportunity.

“I don’t know many of the guys in the room really well. Some of them will be my very first interactions with them. So it will just be kind of just a fun, special night, and I hope that we’ll have a good time. I know we’ll eat some good food, and hopefully we’ll have a good time.”

After his triumph in 2022 Scheffler admitted to some nervousness and crying in the morning before his tee time on Masters Sunday but now 12 months on, driving down Magnolia Lane hits different for the Texan and he would love to see if he feels the same come Sunday again this time around.

“I think so. I think it’s a bit different. I think, like, when you see the list of guys when they get in the tournament and how they qualify and you see “Lifetime Exemption” by your name I think is really cool. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to be coming back to this place for many years.

“But just going one day at a time and just trying to enjoy each day, and the drive down Magnolia Lane definitely never gets old.”

“I think any time you’re in the lead at a big tournament that you want to win, I think each one is separate. Maybe last year could be a bit different just because it was my first one. But I think going into a weekend with a lead, I’ll still be nervous. I’m still nervous playing at home. I don’t know what the emotions will be, but hopefully I find out and I’ll let you know.”

Strangely for the world number one, a major champion and a man seen at the top of leaderboards aplenty, not a lot generally is known about Scheffler off the course and he seems to keep his private life…well….private. But when asked about how things have changed for him and his family in recent times, the answer is surprisingly not a lot!

“I mean, that’s what’s strange. I think people expect — when you have success in whatever field it is, and I think ours especially, when people see it happen on TV, they expect you to change.

“You would think that I’m a significantly different person than I was a year and a half ago, but when it comes to life at home, everything is still the exact same.

“Nothing changes at home. I still have the same friends; I married the same girl I did in high school. My family definitely doesn’t treat me any different. It just so happens that we get to come to places like these on occasion and have fun.

“Life on the golf course has changed just with fans and more people being around, which is a ton of fun. But as far as life at home, I haven’t changed a bit, so same answer.”

We all have visions of the millionaire lifestyle that is lived by the stars on Tour so even though life isn’t much different surely Scheffler has some good stories, spent some of the money and done some crazy stuff? Again….not quite.

“That’s a good question. I haven’t got a new car. Still in the same house. I would say I bought a cold tub. That was a pretty big indulgence. Still not running at home, but we bought it.

“I think Meredith and I, one of our kind of somewhat traditions is buying a bottle of nice tequila after each win, and that’s pretty much the extent that it gets. I’m not — I’m sure eventually maybe I’ll get a new car. I don’t know. I’m not huge on that kind of stuff.

“I think for me just a celebration at home is always fun and getting to enjoy it with our friends, whether that be sharing a nice bottle of tequila with everybody and having good food and hanging out and celebrating.

“But I’m not a big car guy.  It’s a 2012 Yukon XL. It’s white. My dad bought it here at the Masters, so it’s got a Masters GMC logo on the back of it. It’s probably close to 190. I don’t really put miles on it. It’s really all my dad. I drive like three places at home. I go to the golf course, where I work out and a restaurant that’s usually within five minutes of the house. So all credit to my dad for those miles.”

Coming out of his press conference the feeling is it’s hard not to like Scottie Scheffler. He’s not controversial, he’s not outspoken, he’s just a down to earth family guy, not lavish in his lifestyle and he really just seems like the kind of person you’d bump into at the local coffee shop.

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.