SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A year ago, Scottie Scheffler was at or near the top of the list of the best PGA Tour golfers to have never won.
A thrilling playoff win over Patrick Cantlay at TPC Scottsdale in 2022 finally got Scheffler on the board but it was just the beginning.
Scheffler went to win three more times, culminating in the Masters, which elevated him to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.
He returns to defend his maiden Tour win at the WM Phoenix Open but seems pretty much like the same guy.
“I don’t really feel much different than I did sitting here last year,” he said Wednesday. “As far as playing, I’m just always trying to get a little bit better, and the golf stuff for me doesn’t change too much. I’m just showing up and trying to do my best.”
Scheffler was born in Dallas and grew up a fan of that team with the star on its helmet.
“I typically will never miss a Cowboys game,” he said, acknowledging that if he’s in contention on a given Sunday he isn’t watching. He also talked about playing his Wednesday pro-am round with a Cowboys legend.
“I got to play with Emmitt Smith today, which was a lot of fun, and I’d never met him before, so that was really cool, just kind of pick his brain on some stuff. … just little random stuff. You can tell he’s still very, very competitive. When he comes out here to play golf, he’s trying to learn, he’s trying to do his best on every shot. It’s kind of fun just getting a little peek into his mind.”
Scheffler was No. 1 for 29 weeks in 2022 and is currently No. 2. He has a chance this week to return to the top spot.
“I like being No. 1 in the world. I don’t like being No. 2. It’s just kind of one of those funny things. Right now I’m ranked No. 2, but I would say I’m not playing the second best golf in the world. I think Rory [McIlroy] and Jon [Rahm] are pretty much neck-and-neck for playing the best golf in the world right now,” he said. “But I don’t like being No. 2. I’d rather be No. 1.”
Scheffler earned $1,476,000 a year ago. Now that the WMPO is a designated event with a $20 million purse, capturing a repeat would put $3,600,000 in his bank account. That would also mean Scheffler beat a stout field.
He’ll be aiming to defend his Masters title in two months and with the clock ticking, he was asked if has settled on the menu yet for the Masters dinner
“Not quite. We’ve got some ideas. I’m excited about it. Hopefully the guys will…
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