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Scottie Scheffler, wife Meredith welcome first child ahead of PGA Championship

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Scottie Scheffler laughs at Valhalla after arriving Monday for the PGA Championship. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

Scottie Scheffler laughs at Valhalla after arriving Monday for the PGA Championship. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

World No. 1 grateful for healthy baby, ready to chase second straight major title



    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    Scottie Scheffler has been a dad for six days, but he has seen enough to describe fatherhood as "pretty wild."

    There's nothing wild about this statement: Scheffler is the man to beat at this week's PGA Championship at Valhalla.

    After a three-week break that included the birth of his first son (Scheffler and wife Meredith welcomed a baby boy on May 8), Scheffler arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday as he readied to pursue his second straight major title. Everything has come up Scheffler in recent times, as the overwhelming world No. 1 has won four of his last five starts, including the Masters and RBC Heritage before he headed home to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to be with Meredith as she readied for and gave birth.

    Fatherhood is not only wild but "a lot of fun ... a pretty exciting time," Scheffler said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the 106th PGA Championship, in which he also noted that caddie Ted Scott will be absent from Saturday's third round to attend his daughter's high school graduation. Family is first in Scheffler's world (he grew up with three sisters, who joined Scheffler and their parents Scott and Diane on cross-country trips to junior events throughout Scheffler's youth), and the same applies to his caddie. Scheffler, 27, was showered with congratulations from fellow pros as he made his early-week tournament preparations at Valhalla, and he'll also have the challenge of sifting through various advice (although he hasn't received much unsolicited advice, he noted Tuesday). It can be a lot to take in, but Scheffler has thrived in his profession by maintaining a singular focus on the task at hand, and his peers expect him to do the same as a dad. "I'm sure he'll just be giving me advice soon, because he's so good at everything," laughed Max Homa.

    Scheffler is rarely impressed with himself, despite accumulating historically impressive ball-striking numbers in recent years. But regarding his wife giving birth, he was quick to offer praise.

    "I think it's just wild watching Meredith go through that," Scheffler said Tuesday. "It's just nuts. I don't really know how to describe it, watching the little dude come out of Meredith, and we waited, and it was a surprise for us whether it was going to be a boy or girl, so being able to tell my wife that it was a boy, yeah, it was a wild ride. Extremely proud of Meredith after watching her go through that. It's nuts. I'm glad it was her going through it and not me because I don't know if I could have done it. It was pretty nuts. Extremely proud of her, and the look on her face right after birth, she was just glowing, so proud of herself and so excited to have our little boy.

    "We're very fortunate to be in this position with a healthy mom and a healthy baby."



    Scheffler has won four of his previous five starts, and his wife was visibly pregnant while attending the first two of those wins, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and THE PLAYERS in March. She was home in Dallas because of the approaching due date when Scheffler won the Masters and RBC Heritage last month.

    Scheffler’s return to competition marks the resumption of his dominant season. He is No. 1 by a wide margin in both the FedExCup and Official World Golf Ranking. No one else has won multiple PGA TOUR titles this season, and Scheffler’s four wins have all come in the biggest events thus far this year. In addition to his Masters victory, he successfully defended his PLAYERS title and won two Signature Events (Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, RBC Heritage).

    Scheffler watched some of the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday (a rarity for him at home, he said), and he was enthused to return to competition. The break offered time to reflect on a magical time in his life and career, and it also served as a reset amidst a historically dominant stretch of play (in his last five TOUR starts, he has lost only to Stephan Jaeger, by one stroke at the Texas Children's Houston Open).

    Although he hasn't competed on TOUR in nearly a month, he has "simulated competition" through gambling games at home with his buddies. He has quickly become accustomed to fatherhood's nuances, like changing diapers, and he said Tuesday that he misses his son "like crazy." He told his son before leaving home Monday that he didn't want to leave, but that it was time to go do his job.

    "I may win a lot of major championships, I may be stuck at two the rest of my career," Scheffler said Tuesday. "It doesn't really concern me in the moment. I'm just trying to prepare as best as possible for this week.

    "At home it was a nice time to reflect a little bit on my career so far and where my life has gone. I married my high school sweetheart and I always wanted to play professional golf and now I'm here. I was sitting there with a newborn in my arms and the green jacket in the closet. It was a pretty special time, I think, at home. But at the same time, I think the competitiveness in me doesn't let me reflect too much, and I was trying to do my best to get ready to play this week."

    In March, Scheffler became the first player to win back-to-back titles at TPC Sawgrass. Then he won his second Masters, joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win multiple Masters and PLAYERS. Scheffler also became the fourth-youngest player to win multiple Masters, trailing only Woods, Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros. Scheffler also won the Masters in 2022.

    His RBC Heritage win made him the first player since Bernhard Langer in 1985 to win at Harbour Town the week after winning the Masters.

    Scheffler said at Augusta National that plans were in place for him to leave immediately if Meredith went into labor. They were not needed, however, and Scheffler was able to play the following week in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

    Even after his layoff, Scheffler will be the unquestioned favorite at Valhalla. He will be trying to do something that’s been accomplished just twice in the past 50 years, however. Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015) are the only players to win the year’s first two majors since Nicklaus did it in 1972.

    After a rare period of extended reflection, Scheffler will try to do it as a new dad.

    "I'm sitting there with Meredith, and we started dating in high school, and I think a lot of the time we still feel like children," Scheffler said Tuesday. "So to be sitting at home awaiting the birth of our child and then bringing our child home was definitely a very interesting feeling because I think sometimes we both see just the kid in each other, and being responsible for another life form is a pretty interesting thing for us to be responsible for.

    "Just being thankful for where our lives have gone and where this game of golf has taken us. It was definitely nice. I can't really describe the feeling of, you know, dreaming of just coming and playing on the PGA TOUR, to be sitting at home with the girl I dated in high school with our child and then the green jacket sitting in the closet is a pretty insane feeling, and I just wanted to be as thankful as possible. But I think the human heart is always striving for more, and the competitiveness in me, it doesn't really allow me to reflect really that much."

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