Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Golf

New dad Scheffler looks to get back in the swing at Valhalla

Updated: 2024-05-15 09:15
Share - WeChat
Scottie Scheffler works on the practice green during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky May 14, 2024. [Photo by Aaron Doster/]USA TODAY Sports]

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — New dad Scottie Scheffler arrived at Valhalla on Monday afternoon and began practicing for the 106th PGA Championship, searching for his third major title and fifth triumph in six starts.

World No 1 Scheffler, who captured his second Masters title last month, has been idle the past three weeks while his wife Meredith gave birth to their first child, a son named Bennett, whose arrival last week set the stage for Scheffler to compete for the Wanamaker Trophy.

"I had high expectations of what that would feel like and those were far exceeded," Scheffler told The Golf Channel. "I thought it would be pretty great, and it's a pretty amazing feeling.

"It was fairly challenging leaving the house this morning, but I'm here, I'm committed to playing this week, I'm excited to be out here competing. I told my little man when I was leaving, 'I don't want to leave but I've got to'."

The 27-year-old American's status had been uncertain, with no public confirmation of the baby's arrival. Scheffler said he was able to "get some good work in, but not my usual stuff" for the major showdown.

"I feel like I'm extremely prepared," Scheffler said. "I feel like I'm in a good spot."

Scheffler has won four of his past five starts, only a Houston Open playoff loss keeping him from a perfect stretch, including Bay Hill and The Players in March, and the Masters and Heritage in April.

"I'm called to come out here and do things to the best of my ability. I knew I had to be here today to get some practice in," he said. "It would have been challenging if I had left Wednesday night, but it was pretty challenging this morning."

As for those challenges, Scheffler appealed: "If anybody has got any diaper advice, I could use it."

Scheffler spent time on the practice range and in the short-game area, engaging in chats with defending champion Brooks Koepka and two-time major winner Jon Rahm, before playing the back nine.

"I'm sure, right now, he welcomes talking about anything but golf," said Rahm, a father himself.

Scheffler said he was happy at being able to see players and get their congratulations on Monday.

"It was a more significant break than I would normally have, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything," Scheffler said.

"As the week goes on, I'll get more and more immersed in what I'm doing, and just try and do my best to stay as present as I can on the golf course."

Scheffler and world No 2 Rory McIlroy will both tee off Thursday, having won their prior two starts — Scheffler at Augusta National and the Heritage, while McIlroy's wins came last month in a pairs event with Ireland's Shane Lowry and Sunday, with his fourth career title at Quail Hollow at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Four-time major winner McIlroy posted his most recent major victory 10 years ago at Valhalla, edging Phil Mickelson by a stroke for his second PGA Championship.

"I'm a way better player now than I was back then," McIlroy said on Sunday. "I haven't had the major record to back that up, but I've had the wins.

"I've done everything else there is to do in the game since 2014. The only thing I need to do is get another major."

The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland has had 20 top-10 finishes in 35 major starts since that Valhalla victory a decade ago, which came after two prior wins.

Third-ranked Xander Schauffele, seeking his first major title, has had 19 top-10 finishes since his most recent PGA Tour victory at the 2022 Scottish Open — a 22-month win drought.

Storms are expected to bring rain ahead of Thursday's opening round with more storms predicted for Friday afternoon and into Saturday morning.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth makes a seventh attempt to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the PGA Championship. The American won the 2015 Masters and US Open and the 2017 British Open, but his best PGA finish was second in 2015.

Five-time major winner Koepka won last year at Oak Hill, becoming the first active LIV Golf player to take a major crown.


Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349