Being a PGA Tour winner comes with a slew of benefits. Better tee times in the opening two rounds are one of them.
Scottie Scheffler has had his fair share of nice weekend tee times, but after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, he earned the right to sleep in a bit later on Thursday.
“I definitely had a different pairing, eventually got out of the first-off group, so that was nice,” he said after shooting 5-under 66 to share the early lead at the Genesis Invitational.
Scheffler is tied for first place with Jordan Spieth, with whom he played in Round 1 at Riviera. Jon Rahm is also a member of that trio. In the first round, tour winners face off against other tour winners.
They took off 44 minutes after the first group, at 7:24 a.m. local time. It may not appear to be a significant difference, but it was enough for Scheffler to notice.
“Those tee times are challenging.” People don’t comprehend that if you tee off at 6:40 a.m., you’re waking up at 6:40 a.m. and getting out here at 6:40 a.m.,” he added. “Half the sites we show up in the morning are closed by the time we leave.” I’m sure the locker room was locked for all those guys this morning and trailer’s barely open and you’re warming up a literally in the dark basically until you tee off, so you don’t really get a good feel for where your body’s at and how you’re swinging that day, so it’s definitely more challenging than people know.”
Scheffler handled his first round as a first-time Tour winner admirably, making four birdies, one eagle, and one bogey.
On Friday, the trio will leave around 11:59 a.m. local time, giving them even more relaxation.