Scottie Scheffler has been one of the hottest professional athletes in the country over the last two months. Since breaking through with his first PGA Tour win on Feb. 13 at the WM Phoenix Open, he has added three more victories in the span of 57 days.
His otherworldly run culminated Sunday when he won the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia — his fourth victory of the year and first major championship.
Scheffler has firmly cemented himself at the top of the golf world. According to CNN, he ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings just 43 days after his first career PGA Tour victory, and now he has a coveted green jacket to boot.
Yet amid one of the greatest runs golf has seen in quite some time, it was Scheffler’s calm perspective that impressed the Rev. Franklin Graham.
“Congratulations to Scottie Scheffler for winning @TheMasters and taking home his first green jacket at just 25 years old!” the evangelist and president of Samaritan’s Purse said in a tweet Monday morning. “He told the media after his big win, ‘The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life.’”
Congratulations to Scottie Scheffler for winning @TheMasters and taking home his first green jacket at just 25 years old! He told the media after his big win, “The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life.” https://t.co/MQcCeTZKdz
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 11, 2022
Scheffler spoke about his faith during a news conference following his victory. He said his wife, Meredith, encouraged him to remember who he was playing for before he teed off on Sunday.
“I cried like a baby this morning, I was so stressed out,” he told reporters. “I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there, I was telling Meredith, I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this …’ I just felt overwhelmed.
“And so, she told me, ‘Who are you to say that you’re not ready?’ Who am I to say that I know what’s best for my life? And so what we talked about is, you know, that God is in control and, you know, the Lord is leading me. And if today’s my time, then it’s my time, and if, you know, I shot 82 today, somehow I was going to use it for his glory.”
For the first time all week, those nerves were a bit apparent at the beginning of Scheffler’s round on Sunday. He missed the fairway left on two of his first three drives, and he compounded his error on the third hole by leaving his second shot short of the green.
But just when it looked like he was in position to relinquish the three-shot lead he held going into the final round, Scheffler provided some fireworks. He played a low running pitch shot from well below the green that hit the side of the hill, released beautifully and found the bottom of the cup for his first birdie of the day.
Scottie Scheffler cashes in his first birdie of the day in style 💥pic.twitter.com/dt2L2UsbUC
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 10, 2022
Scheffler’s lead never fell below three stokes for the remainder of the day, and even his four-putt double bogey on the 72nd hole of the tournament was good enough for a three-shot win over second-place finisher Rory McIlroy.
An admittedly competitive person, Scheffler spoke at length about his desire to win every time he steps on the course. Yet even if he hadn’t done enough to put on that green jacket on Sunday evening, he knew he could be proud of everything he did.
“That all goes back to my faith,” he said. “You know, the reason why I play golf is because, you know, I’m trying to glorify God and, you know, all that he’s done in my life. So for me, my identity isn’t a golf score.
“You know, like Meredith told me this morning, she says, ‘If you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots, if you never win another golf tournament again,’ she goes, ‘I’m still gonna love you.’
“‘You’re still gonna be the same person, Jesus loves you, and nothing changes.’ And all I’m trying to do is glorify God, and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I’m in this position.
“So for me, it’s not about a golf score.”