Scheffler set for debut at THE PLAYERS
March 11, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- March 11, 2020
- Scottie Scheffler has some experience at TPC Sawgrass and looks to put it to use this week. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – When Scottie Scheffler was a teenager, he played the AJGA Junior PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass’ PLAYERS Stadium Course and has a very vivid memory of how he fared on the iconic island green hole.
“I made a quad on 17. I hit two balls in the water,” Scheffler said with a laugh.
He managed to rebound nicely from that water-logged experience, however, making birdie on the difficult par-4 18th the first day and on both 17 and 18 the next day.
It’s that energy he’s hoping to bring this week to THE PLAYERS Championship as he makes his debut at the PGA TOUR’s biggest event.
Scheffler was the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year on the strength of victories in both the Regular Season (Evans Scholars Invitational) and during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals (Nationwide Children’s Hospitals Championship). By virtue of earning the top spot on The 25 and The Finals 25, he earned an exemption into THE PLAYERS.
After earning his PGA TOUR card, Scheffler has continued his strong play from last year on the Korn Ferry Tour. He has recorded top-25 finishes in seven of 13 starts, including two third-place showings. He sits 19th on the FedExCup standings.
This week, despite it being a huge stage on the PGA TOUR’s schedule, Scheffler said he’s just trying to treat it like any other week.
“I feel like I try to treat most weeks the same,” he admitted. “I feel like I’m a competitive guy and I want to win, so I want to win a Friday game at home as (bad) as I do out here. It’s not much different out here.”
Scheffler said he feels like he’s been playing “decent” so far this season on the PGA TOUR but hasn’t done anything great quite yet. He said he’s happy to have put himself into some good positions to have a chance to win.
He’s hoping for another chance this week at THE PLAYERS. It’s not like he’s a stranger to winning, and he said that thanks to his experience on the Korn Ferry Tour, he’s in a better position as a professional to embrace the big stage that is THE PLAYERS.
“Playing week-to-week on the Korn Ferry Tour was a good learning experience for all of us,” he said. “You learn the things you do well week-to-week.”
It was a lot different for the 23-year-old as compared to his years in college, playing just 15 or so events. He played 30 events last year and they were all week-long experiences.
“You learn how to travel and what hotels to stay at and how to do what you like,” he said. “You spent a lot of time on your own out here and staying in hotel rooms, so you learn a lot about yourself.”
One of the lessons the reigning Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year has hopefully learned for good, he said, is how to avoid the water on the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass.
“Maybe,” he said with a smile, “I’ve already had all my water balls out of the way early.”