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July 6, 2022

Scottie Scheffler

North Berwick, Scotland

The Renaissance Club

Press Conference

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Scottie Scheffler in the interview room, No. 1 in the world golf rankings, four wins, three runner-up finishes. If you can just talk about what an amazing season it's been up to this point.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, season has been a lot of fun. Had a couple close calls the last two-ish months but wasn't able to get the job done like I was earlier in the year but overall I'm very pleased with how I'm playing and just hoping to keep things going towards the end of the season.

JOHN BUSH: You finished 12th here last year. Comment about what you remember here and also your preparations for next week.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I had a lot of fun at the tournament last year. The golf course is really good. It's in good shape again this year. I really like this style of golf and it was a really good prep week for me last year going into St George's and I'm sure it will be fairly similar grass to St Andrews.

I haven't been to St Andrews before but it was definitely nice coming over again, getting adjusted to the time everything and playing a little different style of golf.

Q. Can you tell me how your life has changed the last 12 months?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: At tournaments it's a lot different for me but at home things are the exact same. Nothing has really changed on the home front. Just when you come out here, there's a lot more stuff going on and a lot more people wanting an autograph or a picture or whatever it is, it's a lot of fun.

It's definitely more taxing and those are very good problems to have and it's been a very fun stretch and I'm definitely enjoying playing in front of the cameras and more people and stuff like that. It's been really fun for me as a professional.

Q. Looking ahead to St Andrews, you've not played a great deal there, have you?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No, I've never played there.

Q. You've never played St Andrews?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: So this is my second time to the U.K. and I played Ballybunion, Lahinch, last week and Adare Manor and last year I only played here and St George's, so only those courses.

Q. What are you most looking forward to at St Andrews next week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: First of all just really seeing the golf course. Then after that, competing in The Open. Just to play in The Open is really special and to have an open at St Andrews the Home of Golf will be really special. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Today we had these crazy winds. I only played nine holes but it was actually really fun to play and you're doing all kind of crazy stuff.

It will take a little time to get used to. Winds like that may have been the only wind harder was players this year. But this style of golf and that much win, it's actually really fun. Looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Going forward, what is going to make you a better player, winning the Masters or losing the U.S. Open?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: You know, it's a really good question. I think in both scenarios, I really learned a lot. The U.S. Open going into that week, I didn't play great in Canada, I just got it around, I knew how I was playing in Canada and was not going to be able to compete at the U.S. Open so found something in my swing, kind of basically Thursday morning and I ended up hitting it great. I just didn't have it on the greens but I played good enough this year to win two majors which is really cool.

Just learning stuff about those events, I'm just gradually trying to get better. I'm not going to make any drastic changes to what I do. It's just kind of learning from those experiences. I learned a lot at the Masters and I learned a lot at the U.S. Open as well.

Celebration on 18 green was a lot more fun at the Masters than the U.S. Open obviously. There's a lot of pain with losing and there's a lot of joy with winning, but it's all fleeting. It doesn't last long. I'm sad that I didn't win the U.S. Open. I played great. I'm proud of how I fought throughout the week but at the end of the day, the celebration is just a little bit different but when you wake up the next morning, everything is still the same.

Even after the U.S. Open, I had a couple buddies in town and we went out to dinner with Sam, buddies from home and our wives and had a good time any ways. Life off the golf course has not changed for me whether I win or lose.

Q. Given that you have not played St Andrews, will you seek out any of your peers for guidance?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: St Andrews is a golf course that so many people have played, so there's lots of guys that have knowledge of it, my coach being one of them and my caddie being another. I'll lean on guys if they will give me some information. Some guys may not want to give up too much knowledge about the golf course but I'll definitely pick a few minds if I can.

Q. You talked earlier about the crazy winds out there today. I think the wind is to drop the rest of the week. What is it you really look for from this week going into a major?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I'm still trying to have a great week this week. I definitely want to feel like I'm playing good going into The Open. So I'm really focused on this week for now. Fortunately it's a similar style of golf, so that's really good going into next week.

I don't know, the weather today was fun. I don't know if it would be as fun if it was a tournament. I don't know if we could have played this golf course if it was a tournament. I'm sure the weather forecast is something but those guys aren't always right, so we'll see what it's like when we show up tomorrow.

Q. For a guy who lives minute-by-minute, have you found the joy of winning lasting longer than the sting of losing? Which lasts longer?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I would say the joy of winning.

Q. Five minutes?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No, the Masters lasted through that night and then we got home and then I woke up in the morning, and I still felt like the same person. I was obviously extremely happy and we celebrated on Sunday night and then went out to get breakfast in that morning at home and went to our usual spots like two minutes from our house and there was people everywhere and they are kind of like, oh, my gosh, this is pretty wild.

Then we did it again Tuesday morning and nobody even noticed us, so life is back to normal after that.

I would say the sting of losing definitely lasts shorter than the joy of winning. Fortunately I had a bit of time off after the Masters. I played Zurich but for the most part I had a month of individual tournaments and I got to enjoy it. People congratulate me all the time. It's fun to accomplish something that you've dreamed of your whole life. The sting of losing I definitely don't hang on to as long as the joy of winning.

Q. What was your first-ever experience with links golf? Did you ever come over as a kid or anything?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Scottish Open last year was first one. This was the first links course I played and then St George's was the second. Fortunately this year, I came over and did the JP McManus Pro-Am on Monday and Tuesday and was fortunate enough, I played Lahinch on Sunday and Ballybunion on Sunday, so much fun. This style of golf is pretty cool to be able to play.

Q. What did you like about Lahinch?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: You know, the beginning was really fun. We had like 100 people following our group, which you know, was definitely not expecting coming off of a redeye flight, no stretching and warming up and right on the first tee and everyone is sitting there watching you.

We warned them starting the round, you won't be seeing what the No. 1 player looks like and Jordan as a three-time major winner and Sam as a PGA TOUR winner look like. But we were cutting up with the people following us, a bunch of kids out there we had a great time with and the views were awesome and the weather was really good. Just cut up and had some fun.

Q. There's always been a belief that Texas golfers are better in the wind. Do you guy into that, and when you come over here, are you changing the way you flight the ball versus what you do kind of normally or are you just kind of trusting your normal flight and strategies?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: To be completely honest, when I first came over here, I heard everyone is like, oh, have to play your ball along the ground -- I'm like, they are making it up, I'll play like I normally do at home.

When you get out here, it came really naturally to me, like when I get around the greens and don't see my normal pitches at home, it's much simpler to play those bouncier shots into the green and it's something that I just immediately saw.

When you're at home in Dallas you're really dictated by what the grain does, and out here there is no grain and you can bounce it and use the mounds and hills and whatever you want and you're not limited by stuff that I'm limited by at home.

Then when it comes to playing shots along the ground like I saw today, when I can, I'm going to hit the ball on the ground basically as quickly as possible. It's not as easy off the tee because you can still carry it into the fairway but you can run and hit these chippy shots and do whatever you want. It's a little bit of a different style, you just see your shot and hit it. There's no real technical shots. It's all feel, hitting a draw against that mound, and it's all based on what I see.

Q. Excuse me if this is similar but you keep using the word "fun" to describe this style of golf. Is that compared to Americanized style of golf and what makes it fun?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think here I'm just hitting so many different types of shots. In America, like parkland golf courses here, you play more by numbers; I do. And when it gets this windy, Teddy just hands me a club and is like, all right, I think it's a four, good luck, man. Like what's it going to do, hit this 150-yard shot into a 40-mile-an=hour wind and play it 190 but like if my flight changes by four feet, it's going to be a 30-yard difference. It's like you've got to take ownership of what you're doing.

Like I said, not being kind of trapped in by the grain, I think in the States, even when you play bentgrass, you're more locked into what you have to do. Here you're not really dictated by anything. You kind of can just -- outside of the wind, you can kind of just do whatever you want, which is really fun.

Q. Although you're relatively inexperienced with links golf, you just got your first taste last year, people will be looking you this week and next week as the man to beat given the form you've shown. Is that a position and mindset you feel comfortable with?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I mean, you know, that's perception from you guys. When I go into a tournament, I'm just trying to show up and do my best. I kind of touched on it a bit earlier but links style of golf kind of came naturally to me when I came over last year. The shots that I saw or the shots that I was told I was going to need to learn how to play, and that's just kind of what I naturally saw when I showed up. Going into next week and this week, I'm looking forward to going out and experiencing the challenge and playing the different style of golf and seeing what the kind is like and just going out there and trying to do my best.

Q. What's the balance for you between wanting to acclimatise, try out different shots this week and your winning mentality?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Can you start over?

Q. What's the balance for you between trying out different shots and getting yourself ready for The Open ands had your winning mentality and wanting to win a trophy on Sunday?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: So fortunately I think a lot of the shots I'm going to hit at this golf course are similar to the shots I'm going to hit next week. Getting used to the grass and speed of the greens and stuff like that, I'm going to show up tomorrow only thinking about this week and it's fortunate that both golf courses, I assume are going to be fairly similar with the style of grasses and firmness. It will be easy for me to focus on this week when I get out on the golf course tomorrow.

Q. Considering the beginning of the season and now, you were talking about when you go to tournaments, you're trying to do your best, how much have your expectations changed as you get into events now versus the beginning of the year?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Not really. I don't place many external expectations on myself. I think most of that is just public perception of what I should be doing, and for me, kind of know what I need to do when I go into tournaments. I've learned from winning golf tournaments that I don't always have to play perfect.

I usually kind of look back to my experience in Phoenix, my first win, where I made like four bogeys I think in the first 12 holes on a golf course where you have to shoot under par to win, and if you told me a year ago, that I could win coming from behind in the final round in Phoenix making four bogeys, I wouldn't have believed you. I just hit the right shots at the right time and was able to win the tournament.

For me, I just try and keep the focus levels as high as possible going into Thursday and Friday and I felt like that's where I made a lot of mistakes earlier in my career is not being as focused as I need to and not giving myself as many opportunities. This year I've been on more leaderboard than in the past and that's just bringing up that focus on Thursday, instead of Saturday or Sunday whatever it was.

Q. With the rival tour discussion, everyone's opinion is important, and I think when you rise to world No. 1, suddenly your opinion becomes extremely important. Have you felt more people on TOUR, around TOUR, wanting to know your opinion on a lot of different things now that you are the guy kind of at the top of the table?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Somewhat. So I think from a player's perspective, yes. I'm friends with a lot of various -- a lot of guys at different levels of our tour so everybody has different concerns and those concerns need to be addressed.

I think the PGA TOUR is doing a really good job of continuing to evolve and address those concerns. You have Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the peak and then you have other guys that are trying to keep their card, and it's a big balance.

Fortunately for me from the outside perspective, evident we have guys like Rory and Tiger that are very involved with what the PGA TOUR does and they are doing everything within their power to help improve the PGA TOUR. All of those discussions are behind closed doors.

As being the No. 1 player in the world, I'm not anywhere near the top dog out here. There are a lot of guys have been carrying this tour for years; JT, Jordan, Rory, Tiger, those guys are with the PGA TOUR.

As far as I'm concerned wherever those guys are going that's where I'm going to be. The PGA TOUR has done a really good job of continuing to evolve and improve our tour. Like I said there's discussions going on behind closed doors on how we are going to move and I think the Tour and the players are going a great job of doing that.

Q. You talk about being more focused on Thursday mornings. What does that look like or can you describe how it's maybe different than it was last year and how you came to the realisation that that was holding you back?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I struggle with that a lot in college, too. I remember my college coach, Coach Fields, we would have discussions in the middle of my round and I had a simple shot and hit a terrible shot and he would come up to me and be like, what were you really thinking there. I was just trying to do something and not fully invested in something.

He had a conversation with me, if that was the final round of a tournament or stroke play and you're trying to win or playing for marbles at home or whatever it is, you wouldn't hit a shot like that. You're not struggling with your game but you're struggling with how you're approaching shots.

It's something I continue to work on with my coach and Teddy and just be totally invested in what I'm doing versus maybe when I first got on TOUR, I viewed things as being -- too easy is a terrible way to put it. But sometimes you get up there and you're like, oh, this is an easy shot, pin is in the middle of the green and I don't have to focus as much. But oh, wait, that's golf and it's still really hard, like I have to be extremely tuned into what I'm trying to do with the golf ball. I need a shot.

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