Date: February 2016
Published: The Daily Texan
Head coach John Fields asked his players who the next “really good golfers out of Dallas” were going to be?
One response: Jordan Spieth. The other — Scottie Scheffler.
So began the recruiting process for Scheffler, who was just eight years old at the time. By the time he finally arrived on campus, Scheffler touted three-straight UIL state championships, a feat only one other player has pulled off — Spieth.
“They’ve got similar careers,” Fields said, comparing Spieth and Scheffler. “That [winning three state championships] sets them apart, as you can imagine, in a state that has produced great players like Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite and Justin Leonard and Mark Brooks, who are all major champions.”
The comparisons between Spieth and Scheffler go beyond state championships.
Scheffler won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, as Spieth did in 2009 and 2011. Scheffler earned the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Junior Player Award in 2013, as Spieth did in 2009. They both finished their junior careers ranked No. 1 in the Polo Rankings, and both were selected to the Byron Nelson International Junior Watch List.
But even with the comparisons to Speith, Scheffler remains humble.
“He’s a good person to be compared to,” Scheffler said. “I feel like a lot of guys on this team are really great and can get that comparison as we move up the ranks.”
Scheffler’s golf career has not been without its challenges. Unlike Spieth, Scheffler has had to deal with growth in his physical stature during his time in college.
“He’s gone from 5-foot-2, 100 pounds in eighth grade to almost 6-foot-4, 200 pounds just six years later,” Fields said. “That’s 14 inches and 100 pounds in six years.”
Despite his drastic growth, Scheffler has been able to maintain the quality of his golf game, something Fields described as remarkable.
In his freshman campaign, Scheffler won the Big 12 Individual Men’s Championship and was named 2015 Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year, Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, PING All-America Second Team, All Freshman Team and All-Big 12 First Team.
Now midway through his sophomore season, Scheffler is not only working hard on the course but also in the classroom, working to get into the finance program. Unlike Spieth, he doesn’t plan on leaving before completing his degree.
“That’s one of the reasons I came to Texas — to get a degree because Texas is an incredible school,” Scheffler said.
Scheffler has played in all four events so far this season, shooting five of his 12 rounds at or under par. He helped Texas earn its first win of the season at the Arizona Intercollegiate,
tying for 17th.
Scheffler has two-and-a-half years remaining at Texas. He will have plenty of opportunities to leave his mark on the program, just as Spieth did. Fields said he’s looking forward to what Scheffler can do with his time left.
“Each guy on my team is a winner,” Fields said. “Scottie Scheffler exemplifies that he’s won at every level he’s played at so far. He’s competitive with everything he does and he is always, always, always trying to win.”