Scottie Scheffler’s coach in hands-off mode: ‘We’re engaged on nothing’

Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays a shot watched by his coach Randy Smith on the 15th hole prior to THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

Scottie Scheffler and coach Randy Smith on the Gamers Championship earlier this month.

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HOUSTON — Longtime Texas golf teacher Randy Smith has spent almost 30 years working with PGA Tour gamers, however as he watched Scottie Scheffler hit vary balls on the Texas Youngsters’s Houston Open Wednesday, Smith acknowledged he confronted a novel problem together with his star pupil this week.

“We’re engaged on nothing. Completely nothing,” Smith stated. “Simply go play golf.”

Too simplistic a method for a Tour-level coach? Not when your cost has gained back-to-back PGA Tour begins, is lapping his opponents in SG: Tee-to-Inexperienced and has a stranglehold on the highest spot within the World Rating. As Smith sees it, why mess with an excellent factor? Or in Scheffler’s case, a nice factor?   

Smith, who teaches out of Royal Oaks Nation Membership in Dallas, has labored with Scheffler since he was about 8 years outdated, but in addition has endorsed the likes of Justin Leonard, Ryan Palmer and D.A. Weibring. In his three a long time of educating, Smith stated he’s seen just one different participant as locked in as Scheffler is now — although the coach declined to say who.

“I’m not going to let loose all my commerce secrets and techniques,” he stated with a smile.

Tiger Woods is the primary identify that involves thoughts, and whereas it’s untimely to attract Scheffler-Woods comparisons, Scheffler’s run has been stunningly good. Final season, he gained “solely” twice however completed outdoors of the highest 10 simply six occasions in 23 begins; this season, he already has two wins in seven begins and has completed outdoors the highest 10 simply as soon as.

“I simply wish to have an excellent angle and see some good photographs,” Scheffler stated Wednesday from the Houston Open the place he’s looking for a optimistic pre-Masters sendoff. “I took off final week after two wins and didn’t apply as a lot as I often accomplish that I’m coming in to shake off some rust.”

Amongst Scheffler’s many admirers is two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, who stated Scheffler’s tinker-free method to apply is smart. Crenshaw additionally stated that Scheffler’s demeanor is completely suited to bagging majors.    

“He’s good at tuning out the noise on what most individuals are saying about him and the Masters,” Crenshaw stated. “He’s acquired the right template for golf. Simply even kneel, not too up or down.”

Scheffler added Wednesday of his low-key persona, “I attempt to not get too excessive or low out right here. I nonetheless have the identical circle and similar mates which serves me effectively.”

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The final participant to win three straight PGA Tour titles was Dustin Johnson in 2017, and whereas Scheffler want to turn out to be the following participant to do it, a extra urgent aim is 2 weeks away at Augusta Nationwide the place Scheffler will vie for his second inexperienced jacket in three years.

Crenshaw stated after his first Masters win in 1984, he all the time got here again to Augusta with a renewed sense of confidence and with good vibes concerning the course, and Crenshaw believes Scheffler will get pleasure from that very same mojo. “I may depend on these recollections after ’84 after which I had a couple of shut calls after that, nevertheless it all got here collectively once more in 1995,” Crenshaw stated. “I feel he [Scheffler] feels that.”

Whereas Rory McIlroy and former Masters champion Jordan Spieth are among the many big-name gamers skipping this week and as an alternative taking part in subsequent week on the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, Scheffler stated taking part in in Houston after which taking off every week earlier than Augusta Nationwide is intentional.

“I didn’t play the week earlier than I gained the Masters the final time, so possibly that’s the key sauce for me,” he stated. “I simply keep in mind a few years in the past I performed within the Match Play in Austin after which performed in San Antonio and I used to be accomplished whipped by the point I acquired to Augusta. So I’m doing this.”

Not needing a lot vary time also needs to assist.  

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