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Scheffler’s journey to the Masters a true family affair

AUGUSTA (AP) – It doesn’t seem that long ago to Scott Scheffler that he was standing on the green behind Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, dutifully holding a flashlight while his only son – just five or six at the time – hit shots in the dark.

And if one of Scottie Scheffler’s wayward strokes happened to smack into one of his sisters, so be it.

“He used to yell,” Scott Scheffler said. “He would yell at us when he hit it. He would hit the girls.”

It’s what brothers do.

Nearly two decades later, Scottie Scheffler’s aim is considerably better. Yes, that was the kid who used to peg his siblings with impunity tugging the green jacket over his broad shoulders after winning the Masters on Sunday afternoon.

And yes, that was most of the Scheffler clan – sisters Callie and Molly (other sister Sara is in Portugal) along with Scott and wife Diane – huddled together just outside Butler Cabin to celebrate a jet-fuelled rise to the top that really wasn’t that jet-fuelled at all.

Scottie Scheffler lifts his wife Meredith Scudder off her feet after winning the 86th Masters golf tournament. PHOTO: AP

There were the days back in north New Jersey when the Scheffler kids were introduced to the game. They moved to Dallas when Diane switched law firms as a chief operating officer.

They quickly decided to join Royal Oaks Country Club, mostly because it meant Scott Scheffler could keep all four kids in one place.

While Scott Scheffler understands his son’s origin story takes a familiar narrative and turns it on his head – it was Scott who served as the stay-at-home dad while Diane worked – he doesn’t see it as revolutionary or strange or uncommon.

“It’s just what you do as a father for your children,” Scott Scheffler said, his eyes wet with tears while wearing a white Masters polo shirt on the grounds of a club where his son is now a champion. “You do for your kids you know. I’ve done for all of them. They’ve given us great joy. He’s the one that did all the hard work, not me. I just raised him and tried the best I could to be a good dad.”

Maybe, but someone had to get Team Scheffler to all those sporting events. Youth golf tournaments. High school basketball practices. The list is seemingly endless. The fact it was dad doing most of the driving hardly mattered.

“Wasn’t unusual for me,” Scottie Scheffler said. “I didn’t know any different. Fortunately for me, I grew up with three sisters and my dad was there, and he did a great job raising us.”

Scott Scheffler made it a point to make sure his kids were well-rounded. While stressing “I’m no guru,” he pointed out how vital it was to make sure Scottie didn’t focus on golf all the time. He tried as a sophomore at Highland Park High School only to realise he missed playing basketball too much. So it was back to the basketball team the following year.

Yet Scottie was hardly the only athlete in the family. Callie Scheffler played at Texas A&M and served as Scottie’s caddie when he qualified for the 2016 US Open at Oakmont as an amateur, and Molly and Sara are players, too.