Why Scottie Scheffler could need an emergency caddie at this PGA Championship

Pro golfer Scottie Scheffler and Ted Scott at the PGA Championship.

Now Scottie Scheffler's caddie has some fatherly duties.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

When Scottie Scheffler and Ted Scott linked up in late 2021, both made it very clear that faith and family came first.

Scheffler put that on display last month, vowing to withdraw from his wins at the Masters and RBC Heritage if his wife Meredith went into labor with their first child.

Now that Baby Bennett Scheffler has arrived last week, Scheffler can turn his focus squarely on the PGA Championship. But he’s doing so with the knowledge that Scott has to prioritize his family as well this week.

Scheffler revealed this week that Scott won’t be caddying for him during the third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla. Instead, Scott will jump on a plane back home to Louisana for his daughter’s high school graduation. He’ll then fly back Saturday night to be back in time for the final round.

“Probably Saturday late night, I’m sure they’ll do a little celebration afterward,” Scheffler said. “That’s something we talked about from the beginning of our relationship was family always comes first, and it’s the same thing for me as it is for my caddie. It was a pretty easy decision. He told me at the beginning of this year that that was the date that it was, so I got a backup caddie lined up.”

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Phil Mickelson famously had to withdraw from the 2017 U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in California, despite practicing at Erin Hills earlier that week. He similarly took a redeye Wednesday night to make his first-round tee time at the 2013 U.S. Open.

While Mickelson obviously could not replace himself for a round, Scheffler can have a sub for Scott. For Saturday’s third round, he’ll have PGA Tour Chaplain Brad Payne on the bag, should he make the cut.

“It’s one of my older friends who travels week to week out here,” Scheffler said. “I trust him to rake a bunker more than my buddies.”

Scheffler has good reason to trust Payne to handle caddie duties as he played college golf at Pepperdine University and was a three-time All-WCC pick.

There are no rules preventing players from switching caddies mid-round, so if there are any weather delays, such as the second round being forced to finish Saturday or the third round needing to be completed Sunday, Scott and Payne can pass off the baton as needed, however Scheffler wants.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.