With steady play, Scottie Scheffler going places in a hurry

Masters Report

Scott Scheffler follows through on the third tee during the final round of The American Express golf tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Most satisfying to Scottie Scheffler in his rookie season on the PGA Tour is his steady, consistent play.

It has him going places in a hurry.

One year ago, Scheffler missed the cut in a Korn Ferry Tour event in Florida and was No. 830 in the world. Now he is in his first World Golf Championships event in Mexico City and not the least bit fazed.

“I’m not really a long-term goal guy,” Scheffler said Tuesday. “I don’t overthink things. If I set long-term goals, I focus too much on the future. Being in the present is the better way to go.”

He didn’t reach No. 51 in the world by accident.

Scheffler, who earned a business degree from Texas in four years, had a pair of runner-up finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour and then won twice, including the postseason. He won the points list, was named player of the year and rose to No. 87.

Moving straight to the PGA Tour, he had four top-10 finishes in 11 starts, and three good chances at winning. He was two shots out of the lead going into the final round in Bermuda, one shot behind at Sea Island and tied in the California desert.

“I felt like it’s been consistent,” he said. “I missed those two cuts (Torrey Pines and Phoenix) and had one other start I was unhappy with (tie for 74th in Las Vegas). There’s been a lot of decent finishes.”

He needed a little help to get to the Mexico Championship. Eight eligible players chose not to come to Mexico this year. To fill the field of 72, officials went down the world ranking beyond No. 50. Scheffler was next in line at No. 51. Tony Finau then withdrew, opening the last spot to Sung Kang.

Scheffler is virtually a lock to stay among the top 64 and get into the next World Golf Championship, the Match Play at Austin Country Club where his Texas Longhorns occasionally practiced. And if he can nudge his way into the top 50, he would get into the Masters. That’s rare for a PGA Tour rookie without winning a tournament.

None of this is occupying too many of his thoughts.

“I just keep going,” Scheffler said. “It’s nice playing through the season. There’s not much time to sit around and think about this stuff.”

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