April 10, 2022
Augusta, Georgia, USA
THE MODERATOR: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, it's a privilege and honor to welcome our 2022 Masters Champion, Scottie Scheffler.
Scottie, you arrived to Augusta this week as the No. 1 player in the world an honor you earned just two weeks ago. Your play leading into the Masters this week makes it no surprise that you leave here with your first green jacket.
Tell us how feels.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: It feels pretty good. I don't know what to say to be honest with you guys. I'm just really thankful to be in this position. You know, I didn't get to the press room in my dreams, so you guys are going to have to ask me some questions.
THE MODERATOR: You posted scores of 69, 67, 71 and 17, the only player in the field to player under par each round this week, and befitting the No. 1 player in the world, you took the lead on Friday afternoon and never relinquished it. Congratulations on a spectacular week during your first Masters victory.
Q. Who has Ted meant to you through this journey, and what has Ted meant to you through this week?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I mean, Ted through this journey, he's only worked for me now for I don't even now how many events, like maybe nine or ten. He's doing pretty good.
I can't -- I can't speak highly enough of Ted as a person and as a caddie. I respect him so much just as a person. He's such a fun guy to be around. He's a man of faith and I love him. I can't say enough about him. You know, the qualities you look for in a person, Ted embodies pretty much all of them. He's humble. He's hard-working. He's honest. He's a good time to be around. I even, he's just -- he's an amazing guy. To be able to have him on the bag is so special.
Q. You had played here before. So with him on your bag this week, were there insights that you had not known about this place before?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think we just did such a good job of being really committed to what we were doing. And you know, that goes through all 72 holes, just whatever we were trying to do, I knew -- I knew exactly where I wanted to put the ball and if I was to miss it, which side of the golf course I could be on to where I could still get it up-and-down.
I mean I chipped it so good this week. We did just a good job of still putting myself in positions where we could still manage when I wasn't swinging my best at times. And you know what I mean, he just knows this golf course so well, and I trust him on the golf course.
Q. You mentioned winning this in your dreams and how you dreamed it. I wondered if you ever thought you would take the lead on Friday and just sort of a little bit run away with it. You never had that -- I imagine you dreamed of hitting some big putt or one shot that -- that -- in that back nine, but nobody really got that much close to you. Did you ever envision winning it in this manner where you just sort of dominated the last three days?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think the only thing I imagined was probably that walk up 18. I've seen some guys do that. The first one that comes to mind is watching Jordan make that walk up 18 with a huge lead.
And definitely throughout the round today when I built up a little bit of a lead, I didn't want any stress towards the end of the day, and I didn't break my concentration until we got on to the green on 18. Once we got on to the green, I was like, all right, I'm going to enjoy this, and had some fun with it.
I really don't know what to say. It was definitely nice to build up a lead. Nothing is safe out there on the back nine on this golf course. I've heard all the things that everybody says, it doesn't start till the back nine on Sunday, anything can happen, don't hit in the water on 12, all the stuff. You know, I just blocked most of that out and tried to execute and hit good golf shots.
Q. What did you see as your biggest strength this week, and Randy commented the other day that you love the big stage. Is that kind of the athlete inside you?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I guess so. You know, it's fun being in contention. I enjoyed yesterday and today on the golf course thoroughly. Off the golf course, it's much more difficult. You know, once I get out here on property, it's fantastic. It's so much fun.
But trying to sleep at night and the slow mornings and the stress, it's a long week. And playing with a lead is not easy, especially at a golf tournament like this. You know, if you probably took a straw poll of the guys on Tour what golf tournament they would want to win, it would be the Masters.
So major championship golf, there's so many reasons, and off the golf course, it's stressful. On the golf course, it's a heck of a lot of fun.
Q. And your biggest strength this week?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think just stayed patient and trusted myself. I had a lot of nice up-and-downs, too. If I was to pick one part of my game that excelled the most, I would say it was probably my lob-wedge. Even today, I had some really good up-and-downs in the beginning of the round and then just kept myself in position.
Q. Many congratulations and thank you very much for your time. So eight weeks ago today, you have your first PGA TOUR victory. You now have four wins in your last six starts. Could you ever imagine back then how this was all going to play out? And other than due to the fact you played great golf, did you ever see this coming? What do you put it down to?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I would say no to both of those (laughing).
I've never been a guy that likes to look too far into the future. So for me just staying present has always been what works best for me. So even though I would get asked the questions, when are you going get your first win, all the questions you get asked in rooms like this, the only time I ever thought about it was then.
For me, I was doing my best just to stay present and enjoy the moment. That's what I did most of today, and I just -- I really don't know what to say.
Q. Just a quick follow-up, your a Masters champion now. That means you get to come back for life. Let that sink in for a few seconds. How does that feel?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: That's the coolest part about this whole deal. This is such a fun golf course. It's such a fun piece of property. I mean, it's Augusta National. It's about as cool as it gets. It's so fun to play. I just can't -- I can't believe that I can come back for a lifetime and get to enjoy, enjoy this golf course.
Q. How pivotal do you think the chip in was at the third hole?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I would say what is most pivotal was getting that ball up-and-down. To have it go in was obviously off the charts, but my main goal was just to get up-and-down, and see it go in was definitely special. Parring 4 and 5 was huge as well.
After that I kind of just started cruising. I felt comfortable with pretty much most of the aspects of my game. My swing maybe felt a little bit off, but other than that, I feel like I wasn't ever really going to make a bogey. That was my goal. I just tried to hit good shots, and that's really all I was thinking about.
Q. How much did the growing up in the shadow of so many PGA TOUR players at Royal Oaks shape your interest in wanting to be a golf pro?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I grew up around so many guys out there, just watching them and learning from them. I wore pants when I was a kid at Royal Oaks because I wanted to play golf on the PGA TOUR. I would wear pants and a collared shirt to like third grade class and get made fun of; rightfully so.
I always wanted to be out here, and I never expected it. I never -- you know, I never expected to be sitting where I am now. You know, you don't expect things to come to you in this life. You just do the best that you can and with the hand you're dealt and just go from there. I never really thought I was that good at golf, so I just kept practicing and kept working hard, and that's just what I'm going to keep doing.
Q. How did you handle the late tee time today? What did you do last night, what did you do this morning, and how many episodes of The Office did you watch?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: You know, last night was pretty easy. I was tired. We went and got some food. I spilled my dinner in the car on the way home, and that was extraordinarily frustrating. You can see Meredith is still laughing at me. She thought it was the funniest thing ever; I didn't think it was so funny at the time. Last night was fine.
This morning was a totally different story. I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed out. I didn't know what to do. I was sitting there telling Meredith, I don't think I'm ready for this. I'm not ready, I don't feel like I'm ready for this kind of stuff, and I just felt overwhelmed.
She told me, Who are you to say that you are not ready? Who am I to say that I know what's best for my life? And so what we talked about is that God is in control and that the Lord is leading me; and if today is my time, it's my time. And if I shot 82 today, you know, somehow I was going to use it for His glory. Gosh, it was a long morning. It was long.
Q. Did you calm down at any point?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think when she made me some more food, had a big breakfast. My stomach has been hurting for two days straight. I would say I calmed down when I got to the course. Right when I got to the training room and started working with Troy, I was pretty calm.
Q. Why do you think that happened? Why do you think you felt that way?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: What way?
Q. The way you did this morning?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think because it's the Masters. I dreamed of having a chance to play in this golf tournament. I teared up the first time I got my invitation in the mail. We were fortunate enough to play here in college, and I love this place. I love this golf course.
And there's just -- you know, if you're going to choose a golf tournament to win, this would be the tournament I would want to win. You don't know how many chances you're going to get. And so having a chance, you know, I think I had a five-shot lead on Friday and then a three-shot lead going into today, I don't know if you get better opportunities than that. You don't want to waste them.
The human condition is to make things bigger than they really are. And years from now I would say people may not remember me as a champion, and that's fine. But in the moment, you think it's a lot bigger deal than it really is.
Q. I don't think anyone could have suspected your stomach is hurting. Were you faking us out?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, maybe I should play more poker or something. Truly I felt peace when I'm on the golf course. I think the hardest stuff is off golf course. When I'm out there and once we get into the round, pretty much after parring the first hole I was settled in. I felt good.
Doesn't mean my stomach is going to feel any better. When I was in college, I played in a couple U.S. Opens, and I always used to have indigestion like the week and a half leading up to it. And that's just how it was. My dad is sitting there, I don't remember the pills I was supposed to take, but it was weird. I guess I don't have a good stomach. I couldn't tell you why. But it's something I'm used to.
Q. I heard you are a religious man. Did your faith play a significant part in this victory?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I'd say so. Like I said earlier, what Meredith told me this morning is that we are not in control of our lives, and so I spoke a little bit about what playing golf for me is like and why I do it. My faith affects all aspects of my life, not just my life on the golf course. The Lord has given me a skill, and I'm trying to use it for His glory. Outside of that, I'm just out here trying to do my best.
Q. Such recent winners such at Jon Rahm, Bryson, J.T. talked about the influence of Tiger on their game, whether it was influencing how they play or inspiration. Wonder if you were similarly influenced by him.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Oh, yeah. I played Tiger's irons, wore his shoes, wore his shirt this week. Yeah. Tiger on the golf course is just ridiculous. He's done so much for the game of golf. I spoke about it a little bit at the beginning of the week, we are so glad to have him back out here.
He is the needle for the game of golf. He has completely changed the PGA TOUR from when he came on 25 years ago or maybe 26 now. And his YouTube clips are such an inspiration for me. I remember watching the highlights of him winning in '97, kind of running away with it, and he never really broke his concentration.
That's something that I reminded myself of today. I tried not to look up. I tried to keep my head down and just keep doing what I was doing because I didn't want to break my concentration.
The minute I did was on 18 green when I finally got on there and I had a five-shot lead and was like, all right, now I can enjoy this. And you saw the results of that (laughter). Thank you, Tiger.
Q. With your wins and Ryder Cup moments, have you ever on a Sunday morning gotten that emotional where you were crying before some big Sunday afternoon was about to unfold, or was this the first time?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: This is the first time, and it's definitely different with it being a lead and different being a major, especially the Masters.
This golf course and this tournament is just different.
Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how good was your chip shot on No. 1? And then on 15, how much clearance on your second shot and how many more rolls of the ball did you have before it got scary going down the hill on 15?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No. 1 was probably 9 out of 10, little bump into that hill and then trickling it down there to basically kick-in range. Definitely settled me in for the day because didn't hit a good tee shot. Hit a fantastic shot out of the trees, just hit it a little too hard. And then the chip shot on 15, we talked about a couple different things. The approach shot, I was walking up to -- or right when we got off the tee, I was like, Go for it, Teddy?
He's like, Let's see where it is. I hammered that drive. And I didn't expect it to be over there behind the trees, but with the way the lie was and I only had a 5-iron, so it's kind of like, it's a 5-iron, just trying to hit it in that right bunker. And if I push it, it goes in the crowd; and if I pull it, it will go on green.
And to us it seemed like the safest play at the time, so that's what we did. I had to start at right edge of the bunker. Those trees were probably in line with the middle of the bunker, the ones right in front of me. And then after that, just trying execute.
I feel like, once again, just trusted Teddy. And, you know, we're walking down, seeing the layup, I just told him. I was like, Hey, man, thanks for that, I really don't want to hit this wedge shot right now. The thing looks scary.
Q. You've mentioned your family more than once and your sisters in particular. Give us a sense of, you know, what it was like growing up and if you were picked on, doing the picking, what were the dynamics? We often see families on this day on Sunday, but does it feel like a family win for you?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, for sure. I was telling Meredith I had some pretty cool moments this week. My older sister Callie caddied for me for a number of years during the summer, and her favorite shot always was -- I love hitting this like low wedge, and so her favorite shot is when I can skip it in there to a back pin and she just kind of would stay out of the way, and that was -- it was fun for her.
On No. 9 this week, the second round, the pin was way in the back, and I hit this same shot I always hit, I love it, and hit this low skipper, skipped back there nipped by the pin, and saw her sitting on the side of the green and thought that's pretty funny, she probably liked that shot a lot.
My little sister Molly has probably seen way more golf tournaments than she's wanted to in her lifetime, but the game of golf means a lot to our family and all three of my sisters played, Sara included, and they definitely took it up because I was doing it. And, you know, they tease me, and I'm sure that will continue into the future. I just can't thank them enough for their support.
Q. Not looking to make you choose between Bruce Springsteen of New Jersey and Willie Nelson of Texas, but what kind of music could you like to listen to?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I do have influences from both. My dad, he loved Bruce, so I like Bruce, too. Most of what I listen to is Texas country. Then I listen to some kind of older rock from like the '70s maybe. Honestly, I don't know the time period. I'm kind of just making that up.
But I'll send you the playlist; how is that?
Q. Another question about your family. You said yesterday, I think I got this right, that your Mum went to work and your dad did most of the looking after the kids; correct?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Correct. Yeah. I mean, they obviously co-parented, but my mom worked most of the time, five days a week and sometimes more than that.
Q. What was your mom's job? And at the time was that considered unusual or modern or enlightened? That is a more modern thing now.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Wasn't unusual for me. I didn't know any different. Fortunately for me I grew up with three sisters and my dad was there, and he did a great job raising us. Both my parents I think would do anything for any of us.
And so you know, they didn't parent perfectly, obviously, but for me, they did the best they could all the time, and I love them for that. You know, I can't speak highly enough of the hard work that they have put in.
I can't put it into words, I really can't.
Q. You said yesterday that you -- earlier in your career, you had trouble concentrating a little bit in the earlier rounds. Wondering, when it's Sunday and you don't have that many holes left and the stakes are clear, does it clarify? Is it easier?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Oh, yeah, definitely easier late on Sunday to focus. Like I said earlier, I didn't break my concentration once. Maybe on 17 I got a little bit loose.
18, when I got to the green, I'll give myself a free pass on that one. I'd poke my head up every now and then for the fans. They cheered me all day. I wanted to acknowledge them because they are part of this as well.
For the most part I didn't look at leaderboards, I kept my head down, kept pushing and trying to hit good shots and stay aggressive really because the back nine -- this golf course is funny out there. The minute you play overly conservative bogeys just start racking up like that. You have to play conservatively aggressive and hit good shots. You can't just limp your way in. I knew that on the back nine and all I was trying to do was just hit good shots.
Q. You've talked about your desire to compete and what that means. How do you balance your desire to compete without letting it define who you are as a person?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: That all goes back to my faith. The reason why I play golf is I'm trying to glorify God and all that He's done in my life.
So for me, my identity isn't a golf score. Like Meredith told me this morning, if you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by ten shots, if you never win another golf tournament again she goes, I'm still going to love you, you're still going to be the same person, Jesus loves you and nothing changes. All I'm trying to do is glorify God and that's why I'm here and that's why I'm in position.
So for me, it's not -- it's not about a golf score.
Q. Does that free you up in the moment? Does it make you less nervous?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: 100 percent. If I was trying to win this golf tournament in high school, if my high school self was trying to win totally different person on the go. Always prays for peace because that's what I want to feel on the golf course is peace and have fun and just feel his presence. So that's her prayer every day. That's my prayer and I really felt that today. I felt at peace. Like I said when I -- when I got to the golf course, I was pretty much settled in. It's just the morning that was tough.
Q. You were discussing with us that you've dreamt of this since you were in, what, first, second, third grade and whatnot. So I imagine you've dreamt of that final putt and talking to Jim Nantz in Butler Cabin and having a competitor put that jacket on your back. You're maybe an hour into this. How does the reality of this moment compare to those dreams you had as a little boy?
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: That's a good question. I don't think anything has sunk in at the moment. My head is skill kind of spinning. I was so focused for so long this week. Major championship golf is brutal and especially around a golf course like this and the conditions we played it in; you can see the scores, this golf course was not playing easy this week. It was such a mental grind and you know winning this golf tournament, I'm so humbled to be here. I was just -- I'm just glad to be a part of the field. I'm glad to be able to come out here and have a chance to compete. To be able to win this tournament, I can't say enough about it.
THE MODERATOR: Maybe you could just go through for us the birdies and bogeys and others in terms of what clubs you hit in and kind of length of putt for historical purposes.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No. 3, I hit a great drive right down the middle. Chipped on the green to like three feet and made the putt.
Then No. 7, you've got to get the ball in play. I hit a nice 3-wood down. I think I had 135 to the stick and hit a great wedge shot in there and made the putt.
No. 10 only hiccup of the day. Made a poor swing with my 7-iron in there.
11 and 12 were amazing up-and-downs.
13 I missed a shorty but that was a really hard putt.
14 was basically the exact same shot I tried to hit on No. 7. That's what Teddy told me walking in, hit the same shot I hit on 7 and hit I great shot in there again.
15, just trying to keep the pedal down, went for the green in two with a 5-iron and hit it just over the green, not an easy up-and-down hit a nice chip-in there to about 15 feet and rolled that one in.
You know, just coasted through the last few holes. Tried to stay focused up until 18 green.
THE MODERATOR: Scottie, thank you and congratulations on this incredible accomplishment.
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