Faith Matters: Scottie Scheffler, Masters champion, plays golf for God

At this year’s Masters Tournament in early April in Augusta, Georgia, all eyes were on Tiger Woods. A little over a year ago, he was seriously injured in a car accident. But he had recovered and again qualified for the best tournament in golf.

Could he score another big win at 46?

The green jacket

The answer was no. He finished a distant 47th at 13 over par. Instead, the winner’s “green jacket” went to Scottie Scheffler who finished 10 under by beating Rory McIlroy by three strokes.

Scottie who? Let’s find out.

Scheffler is 25 and became a golf star at the University of Texas. He married Meredith in 2020. This is only his third full season on the PGA (Pro Golf Association) Tour. At the start of the year, he ranked 15th in the world but had yet to win a major tournament. That was about to change.

Since February, he had won three of the five events he had entered. This feat elevated his ranking to No. 1 upon his arrival in Augusta. He would not disappoint. As the crowds followed Tiger, he quietly established his lead for most of the tournament. For a birdie, he scored it well away from the green.

The God Factor

After winning, Scheffler was quick to thank his wife and family. “I have a great support system and I’m so lucky,” he said emotionally. “I’m so grateful for the sacrifices my support system has made for me over my life, and I’m so happy that we got to enjoy this time together.”

Later in the post-tournament press conference, Scheffler openly shared his faith. “The reason I play golf is because I try to glorify God and all that he has done in my life. So for me, my identity is not a golf score. As Meredith told me this morning, “If you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 strokes, if you never win another golf tournament again,” she says, ” I will always love you, you ‘will always be the same person, Jesus loves you and nothing changes.’ All I’m trying to do is glorify God and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I’m in this position.

Scheffler affirmed the role his wife plays in his success. “Meredith always prays for peace because that’s what I want to feel on the golf course, it’s peace and having fun and just feeling his presence. So that’s her daily prayer. That’s my prayer and I really felt it today, I felt at peace.

And peace is what he needed on the last day of the tournament.

Scheffler confessed he was “a mess” when the day started. “I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed. I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there saying to Meredith, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this’. I’m not ready , I don’t feel ready for this stuff,” and I just felt overwhelmed. She was like, ‘Who are you to say you’re not ready? Who am I to say I know what’s best for my life? And so what we talked about is that God is in control and the Lord is leading me; and if today is my time, it’s my time And if I shot 82 today, you know, somehow I was going to use it for his glory.

The big shopping cart

Scheffler’s caddy was Ted Scott, a veteran of the game who was very familiar with Augusta’s national course. He had been a caddy for Bubba Watson when he won the Masters in 2012 and 2014. Scheffler first met Scott at a Bible study. He wanted a caddy who was also a Christian.

Scheffler gave his teammate a lot of credit. “You know, I can’t say enough good things about Ted as a person and as a caddy. I respect him so much as a person. He’s such a fun guy to be around, he’s a man of faith and I love him. I can’t say enough about him. The qualities you look for in a person, Ted pretty much embodies them all.

So what was Scheffler’s winning combination? God first, a woman who prays second, and a big caddy third. Winner of the 86th Masters, Scottie Scheffler humbly returned the glory to his Master.

Rob Weatherby is a retired pastor and accomplished duffer.

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