Masters 2022 – “I do not think I’m ready for this”, but Scottie Scheffler has a green jacket to show he was

AUGUSTA, Ga. Fifteen minutes after Scottie Scheffler won the Masters, a golf cart rushed him to the back door of the Butler Cabin. The only sounds came from a drone circulating overhead and a few birds. His green jacket was waiting inside. He looked dazed. Of course he did. In the last 57 days, he won four tournaments, including a major, and changed everything about his life. He can never return to the way things used to be.

He is 25 years old. This season, he has earned $ 10 million. Inside the cabin, he put on that jacket for the first time – took it off so he could repeat the ceremony in front of a crowd waiting for him around the 18th green – and after finishing an interview, he came back outside. He still looked a little dazed and enjoyed a few long seconds of silence until he again appeared to patrons, who began to cheer and clap.

“I do not really know what to say …,” he said.

He broke down and cried this morning – “like a baby,” in his words – and just felt overwhelmed by the moment: A round of golf to win the Masters, and the tornado that can take over a life after such a thing. He has seen the frame people he knows as Jordan Spieth. He turned to his wife in tears.

“I do not think I’m ready for this,” he told her.

She made a great breakfast for him and tried to calm him down. She said she loved him whether he won or lost by 10. They talked about their common faith. He came to the course and began to prepare.

“Gosh, it was a long morning,” he said. “It was long. My stomach has hurt for two days in a row.”

Back in Texas, at the Royal Oaks Country Club, members and staff also prepared.

“It’s the silence before the storm,” Chief Dean Dean Larsson told me Sunday morning.

Scheffler began playing there as a child after his parents took out a loan to join, all with the goal of following club members like Justin Leonard onto the PGA Tour.

“What’s really special,” said Royal Oaks club president Todd Moen, “[is] because Scottie grew up here, everyone has gotten to know him. “

His dream was to become a professional.

“I wore pants when I was a kid on the Royal Oaks,” he said, “because I wanted to play golf on the PGA Tour.”

As a boy, he wore those polo shirts and khaki pants to school and dressed like a professional touring. His classmates laughed.

“Rightly so,” he said Sunday night, laughing too.

As a schoolboy golf legend in his home state, he played college in Texas. On Saturday afternoon, Longhorn golf coach John Fields picked up his phone at an airport and took his current team out to California for an event. He chose the tournament because it was designed by Alister MacKenzie, who also designed a small course called Augusta National. Fields wanted to prepare his guys for the biggest stages. Scheffler won the same tournament when he was a student. Fields watched the Masters on his phone while waiting at his gate. He is almost part of the Scheffler family at this time. Five years ago, Scheffler played at the US Open in Erin Hills. He walked down the fairway next to Brooks Koepka, with his coach and father behind. Scheffler’s father approached Fields.

“Do you think he will be out here one day?” he asked.

It’s funny now, but Scheffler’s father really did not know. Fields did. He had seen the real thing before – he trained Spieth, for example – and he explained to his friend that the young man in front of them would not only take the trip, but build a career on it.

That prophecy has been fulfilled in the last 57 days.

At the Super Bowl Sunday, Scheffler won his first tour event at the WM Phoenix Open. Back at the club, Moen bought a round of drinks for the 19th hole crowd and raised a glass to Scheffler and to the club. Everyone roared. It was his people. Then Scheffler kept winning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He moved up the world rankings for golf to No. 1. At Royal Oaks between victories, he still worked with the kids on the course, coming up with chipping and putting games that often lasted as long as an hour. Before leaving home to come to Georgia, he played a round with three members. Then he packed for the Masters. He could not believe it. When his first invitation came with the mail, he cried. For the last 57 days he has been a young man living in a dream landscape.

“I do not think that has sunk in at the moment,” he said. “My head is still spinning a little.”

He arrived in Augusta a little under the radar, even with all his success. All eyes were on Tiger Woods, who returned to competitive golf just 14 months after a car wreck nearly cost him his leg. Scheffler was not even a year old when Woods won for the first time here.

“His YouTube clip is such an inspiration to me,” Scheffler said. “I remember seeing the highlights of him winning in ’97, just like he ran away with it, and he never really broke his concentration.”

Now Scheffler wears tiger golf shoes and shirts and uses his irons, though he will likely have his own line of all three on the way soon. He played out the legend on Thursday. On Friday, when the Tiger’s surgically repaired knee began to fail him, Scheffler took the lead. He kept it Saturday, and after his long night and full, tearful morning, he went out on Sunday afternoon to defend it.

His toughest competition came from Rory McIlroy, who broke a Masters record in the final round with a burning 64. He birdied 18 and his roar resounded across the field. Rory had the biggest roar of the afternoon. Truth be told, the mood on Sunday was subdued. When Scheffler came home through the back nine, there were open spaces on the ropes, which are often five and six deep for these coronation marches. More than a few people were hoping for some sort of collapse to give McIlroy a shot at the grand slam of his career.

Scheffler did not fold.

Back at Royal Oaks, the 19th hole was just standing room. When Scheffler hit No. 3, the biggest shot of his life, the clubhouse broke out. A man ran around the room giving out high fives. Hole by hole, the room leaned into the tense moments while the feet dug into the red and yellow rugs. Guys drank white Styrofoam cups.

As he gave 14 birds and sealed the victory, adult men hugged and rubbed each other’s heads like school children. They knew Scheffler as a kid, and now he was going to win the same tournament as Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. A song broke out in the room calling for shots.

“Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!”

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