AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) — When Scottie Scheffler was a freshman at the University of Texas, head coach John Fields would frequently follow him around, giving him a number and some fatherly counsel when the situation called for it.
Fields saw that Scheffler struggled a lot when he did so, as if he was forcing something that didn’t come easily to him.
The magic would happen when Fields remained silent and let Scheffler visualize and execute his own shot.
Fields said last week, “He simply had to see it for himself.” “He needed to be himself.”
On Sunday, Scheffler witnessed it all firsthand: his third PGA Tour triumph in five starts, a $2.1 million first-place reward, and the apex of an incredible journey that will see him become the world’s No. 1 golfer as a result of his victory at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
All in the town where he started his college career.
Scheffler capped off a remarkable week with a pair of comfortable triumphs, first getting 5 up on Dustin Johnson through 11 before winning 3 and 1, and then winning 4 and 3 in the final over match-play mainstay Kevin Kisner.
The former Longhorn, who won three Big 12 Championships while playing at his alma college just a few miles from Austin Country Club, credits his success to confidence and consistency. When the Official World Golf Ranking is updated on Monday, he’ll likely surpass Jon Rahm.
“Like anything else out here, I’d say you have to see your own shot.” Scheffler, who has won three times in five starts and ascended with caddie Ted Scott on his bag, said, “I believe I’ve really worked hard at being more consistent with my ball-striking since I was in college.” “I used to struggle with my swing in college, but now that I’m a pro, I feel like I’ve progressed in a couple facets of my game and just gotten more comfortable.” I’ve acquired greater confidence as a result of the effort I’ve put in, and I feel like I have a lot of diverse images that we can use.”
Scheffler faced 2017 champion Johnson in the semifinals and won two of the opening three holes en way to a comfortable victory. Despite a comeback by Johnson, who won three consecutive holes to go back within striking distance, Scheffler won 16 and 17 to seal the victory for the lone major champion in the final four.
In the final, he started just as well, going out to a 3-up lead in the first six holes over Kisner, who has won 22 of his previous 29 matches in this format.
If you’re looking for a snapshot of Scheffler’s week, go no further. With a 3-up lead on the 12th hole of the championship match, the 25-year-old hit a shot from the fringe into the bunker, seemingly giving Kisner a lifeline. He then sank a putt from the sand to halve the hole, forcing the Georgia Bulldog to make a long putt to halve the hole.
Scheffler wrapped up the match with a birdie on the 14th hole and a par on the 15th to claim the trophy.
When asked what this meant to him and if it was the fulfillment of all his aspirations, Scheffler only had a few words before tears began to pour.
“In my dreams, I never got that far,” he added.
Corey Conners jumped out to a 4-up lead over the first half-dozen holes in the consolation round, defeating Johnson 3 and 1.