At the U.S Open, Scottie Scheffler Dismisses Being a “Target”

The world’s top golfer, Scottie Scheffler, maintains that he doesn’t feel like a target on his back despite having won five of his last eight outings and being the clear favorite to win his third major championship at this week’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

“Like I said, when we start the tournament week, we’re all at even par and it’s not like anybody is out there playing defense,” Scheffler stated on Tuesday.

Scheffler made history by winning the Memorial Tournament by one shot last week, making history as just the fourth player on the PGA Tour to win five straight games before the end of June in the previous 60 seasons. The others were Johnny Miller (1974), Tom Watson (1980), and Tiger Woods (2000).

Being the first golfer to win five times on the tour since Justin Thomas in 2016–17, Scheffler doesn’t appear to be about to slow down.

In 2009, Woods was the final player on tour to win six times.

At 1:14 p.m. ET on Thursday, Scheffler will tee off on the No. 1 hole with Xander Schauffele, the winner of the PGA Championship, and Rory McIlroy, the four-time major champion. Starting at 7:29 a.m. on Friday, the trio will take on No. 10 in the second round.

“When I play with Xander and Rory here Thursday and Friday, they’re not going to be saying weird stuff to me out on the golf course or trying to block my putt from going in the hole,” Scheffler stated. “We all kind of got to go out there and play our game.”

“As far as a target on my back, even if there was, there’s really not much we can do in the game of golf. Most of it is against the golf course and playing against yourself. Target on my back, I don’t really feel it, and I don’t really think about it much, no.”

 On Tuesday, Bryson DeChambeau, the captain of the LIV Golf League, referred to Scheffler as the “gold standard” in men’s golf. Each week, according to Schauffele, Scheffler “makes the mountain even taller for us to climb.”

In all 13 of his tour starts this season, Scheffler has placed in the top 25, with his weakest result coming from a tie for 17th place at the American Express on January 21.

 Scheffler has tied for second in two of his previous eight starts in addition to his five triumphs, which included a second victory at the Masters in April. Even though he was arrested for a driving infraction a few hours before his second-round tee time on May 17, he tied for eighth at the PGA Championship.

The thing that most impressed McIlroy about Scheffler’s season-long play, he said when questioned Tuesday, “The fact that the only thing that took him from winning a golf tournament was going into a jail cell for an hour.”

Scheffler’s criminal accusations were eventually withdrawn.

 McIlroy remarked, “I think just the relentlessness.” “Look, a lot of stuff went on in his life, as well. They’ve just had a new child. He’s been through some struggles in his game, particularly the putter that he’s been able to turn around. … It seems like every time he shows up, he is the guy to beat, and deservedly so.”

In his last three starts at the U.S. Open, Scheffler has placed among the top seven. Last season, he tied for third place at Los Angeles Country Club with a 7 under score, three strokes behind champion Wyndham Clark.

Since McIlroy at the 2014 PGA Championship, Scheffler would be the only golfer to win on tour and win a major the following week.

 Scheffler stated, “I try not to think about the past.” “I try not to think about the future. I try to live in the present. That’s how I’ve always been. I try to be present where I am.”

“I try not to overthink things, I try to live one moment at a time and soak it all up because you never know how long it’s going to last. Just try and soak up the good times when you can and fight through the bad.”