Scottie Scheffler is as easygoing as they get. Take, for example, this answer from earlier this week, when he was asked whether he was still driving his 2012 GMC Yukon, with over 175,000 miles on it, despite, you know, winning four events earlier this year, including the Masters, and rising to world No. 1:
“I do have the same car, still really dirty,” he said. “I actually need to get it washed, but I don’t know if it’s like worthy of me washing. It gets me from place to place. And I’m not a big shopper, so as long as it keeps running, I’m probably going to keep driving it.”
That’s laid back, folks. Scheffler, his close friends will tell you, is also competitive. Take, for example, this description from Sam Burns in April during the Masters:
“He’s one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met. We were playing a lot of cards and board games last night, and he definitely hates to lose.”
Cool. And hot. You know the type. You might be this person yourself. The thing is, and not to get too deep here, it typically takes something more to get this type going, though when that happens, you also tend to take more of a note. Which brings us to Thursday, and a pair of, let’s say, different sequences during the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Move one. On the 12th hole, after cleaning up for bogey on the 12th at TPC Southwind, Scheffler began to walk off the green and stepped no more than a foot or two in front of Cameron Smith, who was squatting down and reading a putt — and then immediately shot Scheffler “The Glare,” capital T and G. Maybe it was nothing. It happens. Maybe it was something. Search for this on Twitter, and the verdict is decidedly the latter.
Smith, you see, is the latest name to be linked to the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, and the Aussie did nothing to squash those rumors when asked about them on Tuesday. And Scheffler? He’s team PGA Tour. And Thursday, they played together. So …
“For me, I feel like the PGA Tour is the best place to play,” Scheffler also said Tuesday. “ I’m not willing — my dream was to play on the PGA Tour. My dream was never to maximum myself my financial benefits. I feel very blessed and fortunate to play golf and get paid for it, so for me, I’m not looking to go out and do anything else. The PGA Tour is where I want to play, and it continues to be the place where the best golfers in the world play and the opportunity to win FedExCup and opportunity to win major championships and to win tournaments out here.
“I grew up going to the Byron Nelson, I grew up going to the Colonial and I almost won the Colonial this year and I wouldn’t be able to trade those memories for anything. So I’m not going to go into what those guys are going to do and their approach.”
Let’s move on to move two. This sequence can be rationalized, though it’s also, again, different. After all, how many times have you seen someone punch their putter?
And yet, there Scheffler was, after missing an 8-foot birdie putt on the 16th, taking two rapid swings at his flatstick with his right hand in frustration. Ouch. From there, he tapped in for par.
“Wow, I can’t believe that,” the analyst on PGA Tour Live said.
Indeed. It’s here where we’ll note that Scheffler, after a one-over 71, didn’t talk to reporters afterward, so his side on all this is not known. Nevertheless, if you like your world No. 1s to be spicy from time to time, Scheffler was that, in maybe more ways than one.
On Golf Channel, though, analyst Paul Azinger had a thought after watching The Putter Punch, capital T and P and P.
“Wow, what a great example of the amount of tension that’s kind of amped this week with the start of the playoffs,” he said.