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April 9, 2022

Scottie Scheffler

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, we are pleased to welcome back to the interview room Scottie Scheffler.

Scottie, under challenging conditions, you posted your third red scorecard of the tournament, the only player in the field to do so in each of your rounds this week. You've collected 17 birdies through 54 holes, including six today, and you enter tomorrow's final round holding a three-stroke lead. Great round.

With that, we'll open it up to questions.

Q. Wonder if you can walk through 18 and specifically if you can describe how you were feeling, whether heart rate, in your chest or whatever, and keeping kind of in the moment.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, well, obviously I didn't hit a good tee shot. And after that, I didn't think -- I didn't hear anything loud. Teddy was like, I saw it clip a branch, we're like, No big deal, just be over there on the left and chip out, whatever. And then we saw the guy with the flag that always finds the balls kind of panicking. I was like, oh, crap, wonder what's going on here.

Fortunately they found the ball. And then all I was trying to do was figure out how I was going to get it on the green for my third shot. And fortunately I was able to take an unplayable out of the bush and still have a swing.

I think I could have gone in there and played it if I had to, but getting out of the bush and trying to make my five from there with a drop and guarantee me being out of the bush was huge, and I hit a really good shot and had a nice up-and-down.

Q. Does your heart rate go up?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: It went up when I saw they couldn't find the ball, but it went back down when they found it. I was a little bit relieved. You hate to lose a golf ball with all those people around. It would be an unfortunate break. It went back down after that.

Q. Question about your roots. You put New Jersey as your birthplace. Do you remember anything about growing up there? Any early memories of the state, and can people from New Jersey claim you as one of theirs this week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: They can if they want to. I was born there. I lived there I think for five years. The only thing I remember was our backyard. I used to just hit golf balls in the backyard, hit them over the house. Really all I remember was the backyard. We had one of those little things where you could throw the baseball against. Yeah, that's where I spent most of my time was out in the yard, so that's all I remember.

Q. Were you looking at the leaderboard a lot today? And when you have a lead like that, if -- were you aware of that, and does it get into your head at all?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No, I didn't really look at the leaderboards. I mean, you can see them every few holes, but I wasn't putting too much thought into it. I was trying to stay in my own lane.

I was playing some good golf, and outside of a couple holes on the back nine, I could have had a really great round, but I still had a really good round today. Anything in the red numbers today was going to be solid, and I was fortunate to do so.

Q. Just wondering how much are you looking forward to that final group, and how much do you know about Cam Smith and how much do you respect his game and just how much are you looking forward to the fight?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, should be a great fight tomorrow. Obviously Cam is a tremendous player, and he's got a fantastic short game, and he's coming off a huge win at THE PLAYERS. Both of us are in good form, so I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge of playing with him tomorrow.

Little bit of different conditions on the golf course. I'm sure they will keep the green nice and firm, but the wind will be a little lighter. I'm not sure how much lighter it will be, but I think we are both looking forward to the test and the challenge.

Playing in the final group is always so much fun, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Can you take us through the birdie at 17 and being in this position for the first time on a Masters weekend, what's the sense of accomplishment returning a red number?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, there's definitely a lot. When we got started with the round today, I mean, it was so windy and never really let up. So I hit a lot of really nice iron shots. I hit the ball really solid today. And for the most part I kept myself in good positions, outside of, I would say, 14 and 15.

And yeah, good accomplishment. I'm not really going to think too much about it tonight, but, you know, I'm just really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. What were you looking at on 17?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Oh, yeah. Well, I hit 3-wood off the tee just to get it in play. The fairway gets pretty tight with driver, and that pin is not super accessible. And we had like 160-manage to the pin, and the wind was kind of -- it was either howling straight down or coming a little bit off the left, and I just tried to hit a high draw wedge and see if I could get it to land soft up there. And for some reason it kept hooking, like the wind gusted off the right a little bit. It landed in a good spot and went in there nice and tight.

Q. Can you just share a little bit about your family and their support? We see your parents out there, your siblings and a lot of stuff, and I know your dad was around a lot, right, to take you back and forth to, I guess, every activity. Just what's this journey been like for them as well as you watching them enjoy your journey?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, it's been great. My dad, he stayed home with me and my three sisters while my mom was working, and, you know, I think they did a good job raising me. I love them a lot, and so it's definitely nice to have their support.

It's been a fun year so far. Being able to win with them around in Austin and at Bay Hill was really special. And they have sacrificed a lot to put me in a position where I could succeed at this game, and I'm obviously really grateful for all that they have done.

Q. Teddy has obviously been in the final group here once or twice with Bubba. How steadying has he been for you, and is he the kind of guy that -- is he in your ear quite a bit during the round, or does he stay quiet? How has this relationship taken off so quickly for you guys?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think we just get along really well. He does a good job on the golf course. He knows his stuff. He works really, really hard, and so he doesn't really miss much out there. And so to have him on the bag and I just put a lot of faith in him and kind of guiding me around this place, knowing that he has the experience, and. Talking about someone that stays as pretty level-headed as Teddy, he doesn't really react to much. It's definitely nice having him out there on the bag.

Q. Before you were winning tournaments left and right, you failed to close out a couple times when you were the 54-hole leader. What did you learn from those experiences that you think will help you get through this one?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: One of the things I always struggled with was putting myself in this position enough. I think I may have lost a 54-hole lead in Houston, but outside of that, I don't remember any other ones.

So I've always just kept trying to put myself up there. And for me, I never really focused hard enough on Thursday and Friday, and I was always behind the eight ball going into Sunday. So for me, being in this position, it's nice to be in control of the golf tournament. And all I'm trying to do out there is be committed to my shots and execute, and after that it's not really up to me.

So I'm looking forward to the challenge of tomorrow and, you know, just keep doing my thing.

Q. Looked like your coach and caddie were headed to the range. If you're going to go there, what will be -- what will you be trying to work on, and what are you hoping to achieve?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, just my usual routine. I guess you guys probably haven't seen it too much, but I usually practice a little bit after the round. So for me, I'm sticking to my routine, and we'll just go hit a few balls and make sure all the lines are good and, you know, get ready for tomorrow.

Q. You said the last couple days that you spent a lot of time in your career and your life preparing and looking forward to being in this competition, these kind of moments to compete. Did you ever prepare or think about what it's like holding a lead at the Masters after 54 holes? That's a unique challenge to itself.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think that's definitely a unique challenge. I talked about it briefly at the beginning of the week, but, you know, you prepare and work hard and do all the things to be in this position, and, you know, it's a lot more fun being able to sit in here and talk to you guys after the third round versus, you know, just being swept off and going to the range in 30th place.

So for me, this is a lot more fun than a lot of the starts that I've had in major championships, especially around this golf course. So for me, this is a good time, and, you know, today was a lot of fun, and, you know, hopefully tomorrow will be the same.

Q. Dottie Pepper made the observation when you were going through the unplayable on 18 that there was a peaceful process about you. Is that a learned thing or inherent in your personality? You do seem to go about things very calm out there.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think that's definitely something I've learned over time. I have matured a lot since I played junior golf and college golf, and I feel like I'm learning a lot out here.

It's definitely something that's been acquired over my lifetime. I was a bit of a hothead I think in high school and college, so to be able to just stay patient and realize mistakes are going to come, and winning golf tournaments out here is not easy. It's very challenging. So knowing that bad things are going to happen and being able to react to those things in a positive way is extremely important.

Q. Could you tell us what club you used on the second shot at 18?


Q. And how long was it?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I know it was 225 adjusted to get over the bunker, and that's all I know, sorry.

Q. We talk about pressure all the time, and there's different pressure, sometimes it's to make the cut and sometimes it's for other things. Can you talk about how you've been able to adjust to dealing with pressure in a positive way?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think for me, I've always done a really good job of focusing hard when I'm in contention. My college coach, when I struggled a lot in college, he spent a lot of time just talking with me about how I would hit these shots in the middle of my round that were just horrible, just terrible golf shots. And he would sit there and after the day, he would kind of come up to me and be like, "Scottie, if that was the 18th hole and you were trying to win the golf tournament, you would never hit a shot like that."

He was 100 percent correct. And so that's something I've worked on, just being focused and committed to each shot. Because I struggled with that in college. I wasn't prepared. I wasn't always ready. I didn't trust myself like I do now. And so when I get over a shot now, I'm fully confident that I'm going to make a good swing. And that's really all I can do. The rest isn't up to me. I can't worry about the gust or where the wind is coming or how the shot is going to bounce. I just know the shot that I see and try to hit it, and after that it's not up to me.

Q. You alluded to earlier that you won't think about much tonight, speaking about the scoreboard and the match tomorrow. What are some of the things you do ritualistically this evening and tomorrow before you get out there to get away from the course mentally and just relax?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Tonight our house will be a little bit different. It's just Meredith and I now. Beginning of the week we had Sam and his whole crew. So this will be a little bit quieter night for us. Probably just watch The Office, get some dinner.

Q. Who is your favorite character in The Office?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I cannot choose, I really can't. So my wife used to not like the show, and it's by far my favorite show. I love it. She used to watch random episodes with me and she's like, "This show is stupid, why do you watch that?"

I finally convinced her to start it from the beginning, and she loves it and she's cracking up. Tonight I'm looking forward to just chilling. We are starting, I think we are like two episodes into Season 4. I'm just looking forward to sitting back and giggling a little bit and eating some good food.

Q. Can you recall a specific shot or moment this week where Ted has helped you navigate through maybe 18, maybe something else from the week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Teddy is a really peaceful guy. He doesn't really react too much. I mean, we talk about pretty much every shot. So I can't remember a shot in which he didn't help me on unless I was tapping in. We talk about everything out there, and, you know, that helps me prepare to hit a good shot and just be committed to what I'm doing.

Q. Texans have a tradition here to play pretty well. Do you have a philosophy of why?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Maybe it's something in the water, I don't know. Hopefully I can play well tomorrow like the Texans have in the past. I've relied on those guys. I've taken plenty of advice from Ben and Jordan. Those guys have been great influences on my life, and I'm really grateful just to have their friendship. So I can't really say enough about them and, you know, what they have done for the game of golf and for the state of Texas.

You know, I'm just really grateful for them.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Scottie, and good luck tomorrow.


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