2022 PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler Isn’t Buying Into Any Grand Slam Talk

2022 PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler Isn’t Buying Into Any Grand Slam Talk article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.

TULSA, Okla. – Rumors of Scottie Scheffler’s affinity for Southern Hills Country Club have been greatly exaggerated. Granted, though, they were greatly exaggerated by Scheffler himself.

In a Q&A which has been floating around the Internet and gained more relevance after his Masters victory last month, Scheffler was quoted as saying that this week’s PGA Championship host was his favorite course in the world.

On Tuesday, he didn’t deny that sentiment … but he didn’t exactly confirm it, either.

“I couldn't tell you when I made that statement or where y'all found that,” the world’s No. 1-ranked player said with a smile.

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He then thought about it and admitted that, sure, he definitely could’ve said it.

“I usually try and pick a golf course that's off the radar or something like that just because, I don't know, everyone has their favorites,” he explained. “Southern Hills is definitely one of mine.”

As if Scheffler wasn’t already riding one of the hottest heaters we’ve seen in years, he’ll compete in the year’s second major championship this week on a course where he’s already had some success. He won the Big 12 individual title in 2015 while at the University of Texas here, then finished in a share of fifth place at Southern Hills three years later.

There are already signs that he’ll pick up right where he left off.

"I've had some success…playing this golf course"

Scottie Scheffler spoke with Jason Sobel about going after his 2nd major championship on a course he knows really well.@JasonSobelTAN I @PGAChampionshippic.twitter.com/Wb17vX94eG

— SiriusXM PGA Championship Radio (@SiriusXMPGATOUR) May 18, 2022

In an age when we crave every bit of prognosticative information in advance of tournaments, Scheffler’s recent 6-under 64 during a quick scouting mission to Southern Hills is already the stuff of legend. It's one little bit of detail which can help us form an opinion during a week where it doesn’t seem like there’s much to separate the elite players.

At a venue which hasn’t hosted a tournament on the highest professional level in 15 years, such experiences could be enough of an advantage that Scheffler once again gets into position to contend at a major championship, something he’d figured out even prior to that victory at Augusta National.

Starting in 2020, Scheffler finished T19 at the Masters, then T4 at the PGA Championship. Last year, he was T18 at the first major, then posted top-10s – 8th-7th-8th – at the final three. And of course, there was the recent green jacket-clincher.

That’s an awful lot of impressive golf at the biggest events for a player who doesn’t even turn 26 for another month.

“I want to win this tournament as bad as any other one,” Scheffler said Tuesday. “For me, not much changes, whether it's PGA Championship, Masters, British Open, whatever it is. I'm an extremely competitive person. I want to win.

"For me, winning is fun. It took me awhile to win the first one, and I guess I've been on a stretch now. But outside of that, being in contention and winning golf tournaments is the most fun. Finishing 50th place is not as fun. You know, the higher up you can finish and the more nerves you feel, that's kind of the more fun stuff for me.”

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Even with those notable results at majors, Scheffler insists he isn’t thinking about becoming the first player since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win the first two majors in the same year and certainly isn’t thinking about the grand slam – winning all four in the same year.

Asked during his press conference to recall when he first started considering the possibility, he said, “Like, right now. I kind of keep my head down and do my thing.” When it was brought up that he’s the only one who could accomplish the feat this year, Scheffler didn’t exactly beam at the potential of looking so far into the future, replying simply, “Yeah, I guess.”

It’s safe to say he feels the same way about having a target on his back, having won four times in the past three months and ascending to that No. 1 ranking.

He downplayed even just the feeling of being able to strut around Southern Hills and puff his chest out, knowing he owns a few things that every other player wishes they had.

“No, Tiger's here, so nobody really remembers that I'm here,” he said. “It's all good.”

If he wins again this week, everyone will remember he was here. And yes, if it happens, he might just actually remember listing Southern Hills as one of his favorite courses again.

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