Scottie Scheffler grateful for Ryder Cup team-mates on journey to Number 1

Home > News > Scottie Scheffler grateful for Ryder Cup team-mates on journey to Number 1
The World Number One needed a wild card to make his Ryder Cup debut in 2021.
Posted on
June 12, 2024
by
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Scottie Scheffler has credited his Ryder Cup team-mates for helping to turn him from a player without a PGA Tour victory into the game’s number 1 player.

The world number one won the Masters for the second time in three years in April and heads into the 124th US Open at Pinehurst on the back of his fifth win of the year at the Memorial Tournament.

It took being arrested following an incident with a police officer on his way into the course before the second round to derail his bid to win the US PGA Championship last month, and Rory McIlroy freely admits Scheffler is “undoubtedly the best player in the world at the minute by a long way”.

McIlroy was not alone in lavishing praise on Scheffler when asked about him in pre-tournament press conferences, but the man himself reminded onlookers it was less than three years ago that he needed a wild card to make his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits.

Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler speaks during a news ahead of the 124th US Open (Matt York/AP)

United States captain Steve Stricker sought the opinion of the six automatic qualifiers when picking his wild cards and Scheffler said: “I always look back on being selected for my first Ryder Cup team, of kind of having the vote of some of the guys.

“I wasn’t really a proven player out here yet. I hadn’t won on Tour. I got the vote of some of my peers to be on that team and was able to perform well. So that’s something that I always look back on and am very grateful for.

“I’m very grateful those guys wanted me on that team and I felt like it was a big moment in my career.

“So I’m very thankful to have a lot of the friendships that I have out here and it’s a joy to be out here playing with these guys and competing with them. It’s a lot of fun.”

Whether his rivals are having as much fun as Scheffler right now would be highly questionable, but the 27-year-old insists he does not feel like he has a “target on my back”.

“When we start the tournament week, we’re all at even par and it’s not like anybody is out there playing defence,” Scheffler said.

“When I play with Xander (Schauffele) and Rory (McIlroy) here Thursday and Friday, they’re not going to be saying weird stuff to me out on the golf course or trying to block my putt from going in the hole. We all have to go out there and play our game.

“As far as a target on my back, even if there was, there’s really not much we can do in the game of golf. Most of it is against the golf course and playing against yourself.

“I try not to think about the past too much, and I try not to think about the future too much. I just try and live in the present. Sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s a bit harder.

“I feel like coming off of last week, I was really excited and celebrated for a few minutes there, but my mind kind of just goes on to the next thing. I was getting ready, trying to get out of there and trying to prep for next week.

“I’m not thinking about my wins any more. All I’m focused on is this week and getting ready to play.

“Just because I won last week doesn’t give me any shots against the field this week. We all start even par, and the field is level again starting on Thursday. Last week doesn’t really matter.”

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