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Why Scottie Scheffler's 'punked' comment made him feel both relatable and (very) unrelatable at the same time

January 19, 2024
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Kevin C. Cox

Golfers are a sick, and sometimes miserable bunch. And, yes, sometimes that misery likes company. So we're guessing there were a few people who didn't mind watching Scottie Scheffler struggling during Thursday's first round of the American Express.

After all, the guy is the No. 1 player in the world and the two-time reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year. Sure, he has had issues with his putting, but as the advanced metrics tells us, he basically never has a bad day. And a bad week? Surely, you jest.

But that wasn't the case on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club. Well, at least for part of Thursday. Scheffler was playing one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour and he found himself at (gasp!) even par through eight holes. The horror!

More than that, Scheffler actually felt like he was playing pretty well. Here's what he told reporters after the round when he sounded like a typical weekend hacker lamenting all the bad breaks that went against him.

"It was a weird day. I had numerous bad breaks to start my round. It was very frustrating," Scheffler said. "No. 2, I hit a good drive that would have been left center of the fairway, it hits a tree and goes out of bounds, it was an over hanging tree there, and it's, like, what are the odds it's going to hit it and go out of bounds. That cost me two shots."

Go on, Scottie . . .

"I had a lot of putts early in the round that kept hitting lips."

Yep, been there, done that.

"Then, par-5, I was green side, hit a bunker shot that was really good, rock in the way. Little stuff like that that was pretty frustrating to start my day."

We feel you, Scottie. Scheffler went as far as to joke about someone or something even being out to get him.

"I looked at Teddy after No. 6, and I said, 'Am I being punked right now? Like, what's going on.' That's part of the game and, fortunately, I was able to kick start things down No. 9 and finish with a fairly decent round, around this place."

And . . . that last part is where he loses the typical weekend hacker. Because as relatable as those first comments sounded to us, what he did the rest of the round was just as unrelatable.

Because after that slow start, Scheffler birdied five of his final 10 holes with no bogeys to finish at five under for the day. Yep, he still shot five UNDER after all that. You know, just a struggle-fest 67, that has him five off the lead of Zach Johnson and Alex Noren, who both fired 62s at La Quinta.

So while we can kinda see Scheffler's frustration at only shooting 67, well, let's just say, it must be nice, Scottie. It must be nice.