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April 17, 2024

Scottie Scheffler

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

Harbour Town Golf Links

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Scottie Scheffler into the interview room here at the RBC Heritage, coming off of his second win at the Masters tournament, and he's won now three out of his last four starts on the PGA TOUR. Scottie, welcome back to the RBC Heritage. If you can just take us back to Sunday and then what the last few days have been like.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, Sunday was a great day. I was fortunate to play well and win the tournament. Went home on Sunday night. We got home pretty late, so I just relaxed at home the last couple days with Meredith, and it's good to be back here at Hilton Head. I like the golf course. I'm trying to focus a bit more on rest in my preparation this week. Only played the back nine today. I'll see the front nine tomorrow when I tee off. I'm excited to be back. It's a fun golf course, and excited for the week.

Q. You had a good week here last year. This is your second start at this tournament, you finished tied for 11th last year. Talk about the difference in coming from Augusta National to a completely different golf course here at Harbour Town?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, it's very different. I think sometimes when you're coming from Augusta -- we were talking about it today, is it 14 that's the long par-3 with the water? The green just looked so small. I'm sitting there with a 6-iron looking at this small green, and Augusta everything is really big at times and then you come here and everything is really, really small it seems like.

It's a great golf course. I think it's a lot of fun to play. I think it's very interesting.

I think for some people, distance debate type people if they're ever looking at golf course design and how to combat people only trying to hit the ball really far, they need to come here and do a case study on this golf course because it's really, really good. You've got to curve the ball both directions, and you have to control your distance. You have to control where the golf ball is going. It's not just a place where you can go bomb it.

Q. There was a picture of you in a tavern?


Q. Details, please.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I don't really frequent either of those -- that place very often. I don't know if I'd actually been to that place before. There was another tavern around the corner that I'd been to a few times and it's a nice place, but shockingly it wasn't open Sunday at 1:30 in the morning. This place was open.

So on the plane ride home, I was with my manager Blake and my coach Randy and then I had four of my good buddies with me, and I don't remember who suggested it, but it seemed like a good idea, and when Meredith picked us up at the airport it still seemed like a good idea, and Meredith was down, so we went for probably 20 minutes and went home. Took a few photos, had a drink and then went home and went to bed.

Q. Was there any consideration to not playing this week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Not really. I made a commitment to this tournament. Like I said, I like coming here and playing the golf course. Yeah, I'm a bit tired right now, but I've got all afternoon today to continue to rest and get ready for the week.

Q. How did you spend Monday, Tuesday, either celebrating or decompressing?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, mostly just decompressing. A lot of relaxing at home. We celebrated Monday night. We had a few of our friends over to the house, ordered some food and just looked at some pictures from Sunday night and just relaxed and had fun. Nothing crazy.

Q. Off the Masters thing for a second, I'm wondering if you're connected or if you feel like you're connected still to people would would be considered an average golf fan, people who watch on the weekends, whether friends or family, and if so, have you noticed a difference in the way they feel about professional golf, yourself not included, but if they like it less, if they like it more, considering everything that's happened over the last two years, if you've observed anything on that front?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: So what's the question?

Q. The people that are average golf fans, do they like golf less, do they like golf more, do they like it the same because of the LIV-PGA TOUR stuff?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think to an average golf fan -- I wouldn't say that I am around too many people that are -- you would say an average golf fan. I think for the most part I'm around my friends, and that's pretty much it. As far as the average fan goes, I'm not really sure. I think they're probably getting a little bit tired of all the noise.

I think what's great about our sport is the competition. That's what I love the most is coming out here and competing. So if a little bit of the narrative could get shifted back towards that, I think that would be really nice. You look at something like March Madness and they're not competing for any money or anything like that. You can look at the women's game. The women in college now, they're staying four years in school, there's good rivalries, you have teams pitted against each other year after year, and it's really intriguing to watch and it's not about anything other than wanting to witness something great and enjoying the competition.

Q. You mentioned over the weekend that your neck flared up a little bit. I didn't know if there was an update relative to how you were feeling or if it related to what you were going through at Sawgrass.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think it was something similar that happened to me at Sawgrass. Fortunately or unfortunately on Sunday morning my neck did start to bother me a little bit. The same little joint bugged me a touch, but fortunately we were able to get ahead of it this time before it completely locked up on me.

So as far as how I felt Sunday, my warmup was very stressful because when the joint starts to lock up, everything around it also tightens, and so it happens very quickly. I was sitting on the couch at home relaxing, and then all of a sudden I could feel it, so I got in the shower as quick as I could, got ready and went straight to my trainer and we started working on it pretty quickly, but it definitely was not anywhere near my normal warm-up. I was out late for my warm-up. I had to go back in and get taped back up to go back out and play, so the warm-up was a bit stressful, but I feel like my heart rate went down as we were approaching the tee time.

Q. Did you feel any different kind of satisfaction after winning the Masters a second time than you did the first?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think so, yeah. I think whenever you're able to do it again, I think it's really special. I don't know if validation is the right word for the first one, but doing something like that twice is very special, and so there's definitely a good bit of satisfaction in accomplishing that.

Q. Do you feel like you're looked at any differently by your peers? Do you think they're worried about you?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Do I think they're worried about me?

Q. Not your health --


Q. Scottie is in the field, we've got our hands full this week.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I don't think so. I think just like I do, I think they enjoy good competition, and I think that's something that we're looking forward to this week. When I was first coming up on TOUR, I always wanted to compete with the guys that were playing the best. I got excited for the events like this where the best players were there.

Yeah, I think it would be enjoyable if I'm up there on the leaderboard on Sundays because I think guys want to beat players when they're at their best. I'm sure if you had Stephen Jaeger sitting here, he'd be saying, yeah, I want to compete against Scottie, I want to play with him, then you get results like wins and stuff like that. I wouldn't say that they would be worried. I think they would be more excited.

Q. The thing on Sunday night is interesting because in your own words you've never really celebrated enough at a lot of your wins. What possessed you to finally celebrate a little bit?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think -- that's a good question. I think part of what -- part of how I felt Sunday morning was I wished that I didn't want to win as badly as I did. I wanted to win that tournament really badly for a number of reasons. I wanted to put the green jacket back on. I wanted to be able to have that plane ride home with the jacket, us all having fun. It's kind of weird living through those times in your life where you're dreamt about having moments like that and then all of a sudden they're happening. So Sunday was really fun just to kind of have some good friends and celebrate and enjoy the moment. Those are guys that we've walked through a lot of stuff over the last eight to ten years or so, and so it was very special, all of us getting to be together and celebrating something great happening together.

Q. All 20 minutes of it in a tavern?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, we were in the plane together for a while, but yeah, that was more for Meredith, and then it was like, okay, it closes at 2:00. I think Meredith finished her Heineken Zero and it was like, now we can go.

Q. Lastly, when you look back at the year of '22 with the green jacket and now that you have it again, are there things that you would like to take it, do with it differently than the first year?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think right now the way I feel is I want to wear it around the house more. But as far as stuff to do with it, I think I'll probably do something similar. I think I liked going to some of the sporting events in Dallas. The Rangers won the World Series last year, the Mavs are playing some good basketball, Stars are heading into the Playoffs, as well, so I'd like to go to some more games. I'll be home for a few weeks now. Obviously things will be a little bit different with Meredith expecting pretty soon. We'll see, but hopefully go to a few more sporting events.

Q. Wyndham was just in here and he said he felt like there's a gap between you and the rest of the PGA TOUR. Do you feel that way, and if so, how big of a gap do you feel there is?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I don't really spend much time thinking about that kind of stuff. You know, I won the tournament last week and now we're here and it's Wednesday and we're all even par again. It seems like to me in my head that everything starts over each week, so it doesn't matter what I'm ranked going into the week. It only really matters kind of where you sit at the end of the week.

So going into this week, it'll be a bit more challenging than it was last week just because I think playing in contention at majors and especially winning takes a lot out of you. There's a lot of stuff that goes on after the Masters on Sunday, and you get home very late, and emotionally I think I'm a bit drained.

But we're starting at even par, so I'm going to go home this afternoon and get as much rest and recovery as possible and show up tomorrow ready to play.

I was on a radio show earlier today and Colt asked me if I thought about withdrawing, and I said, no, I committed to this tournament, and I'm not showing up here just to walk around and play a little golf. I left my pregnant wife at home to come here and play in a golf tournament. I am here to play and hopefully play well. I'm not here just for fun.

Q. I know you were a little busy on Sunday, but there were two former Masters champions that made the cut and played on the weekend that were over 60, with Olazábal and Vijay Singh. Can you talk about how difficult that is to have done last week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think with the way the golf course was playing, with how challenging it was, that experience that those guys have around Augusta really, really helped them.

I mean, just because they're older now doesn't mean they can't really play anymore. You look at Tom Watson almost won the Open when he was about their age. I'm not sure exactly how old he was. But it's always still in there.

I think it's really special when you can kind of see them bring it back out. I hit balls next to José María on one of the days at the beginning of the week and I was amazed with how solid he was still hitting the golf ball. It had a nice noise to it still, which is -- at his age is extremely impressive. So it's always in there. It's just a matter of when they can kind of tap into it. When you get conditions like that around that golf course, I think it can kind of be exposed how much talent those guys really did have, or do have.

Q. Playing in the pro-am, nine holes, can you learn much about the course, and when you're playing a round of nine holes, do you talk much with the amateurs, and what do you talk about?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, that's a good question. What do we talk about? Random stuff mostly. Just a good bit of small talk, where are you from, how did you get here, stuff like that. Yeah, I can learn a decent amount about the course, green speeds, firmness of the greens, how the run-off areas are playing, hit a few shots out of the sand, see how the sand is playing.

There was few spots last year that I remember being very difficult places to get it up-and-down, and when Teddy was showing me some of the areas this year, it didn't seem as challenging. I think maybe the conditions were a little softer this morning than they will be obviously on Saturday and Sunday, and so my memories of the golf course are a tad different than what I felt this morning, but we'll see how the course plays as the week goes on.

Q. Ludvig was in earlier and he mentioned meeting you for the first time in Rome at the Ryder Cup. Just want to get your initial impressions of him and the rapid rise that he's had so quickly.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I mean, I hadn't played much golf with him. I had heard about him, and he'd been playing some really good golf last summer. But I'd never been paired with him. I think we met maybe at one of the dinners one night. I think we ended up sitting next to each other, and I think his girlfriend was there and my wife was there, and seems like a really nice guy. I've played a couple practice rounds with him this year, and he definitely is a really nice guy. He's fun to be around. He's got a good personality. I think he's got the right personality to be successful out here for a long time. He's very competitive but he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. He seems like a guy that works really hard. I see him in the trailer after rounds working out. He's doing the right things to have a successful career out here.

It's so funny, the guys coming out of college now are just so ready to play. They really are. So it's impressive to watch. You like seeing guys like that that put in the work, put in the time and do things the right way, have success, and Ludvig is definitely one of those guys.

Q. I imagine having a child is going to impact your schedule between now and the PGA Championship. How do you think you're going to be able to prepare for the next major?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, do the best I can. I'll spending a bit more time at home preparing, but I'll obviously take a break when the baby comes. But we'll see. I don't know what life looks like. But up until when the baby comes, I'm going to play this week and then I'll go home and basically just wait. We're due at the end of the month. We'll see when the baby comes.

I don't know. Like I said last week, golf now is -- it never was my top priority, but I do love competing, and I put in the work. It's going to take another notch down in priority when our child comes.

My family still comes first, and we'll see how the prep work goes.

Q. I was curious how Meredith was doing. Has she showed any early indications?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No, nothing yet. That's why last week I felt like the story got blown up a bit too much. That's why I feel like I don't really talk about my personal life very much just because then I have to answer questions in here about it. It's just a bit different. But yeah, no signs. No signs of early labor anything like that. But she's feeling good. Very tired but feeling good, and I'm sure she's probably getting pretty close to having that baby.

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