Genesis Invitational

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Why Scottie Scheffler has a little extra motivation on Sunday at the RSM Classic

November 23, 2019

Streeter Lecka

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Scottie Scheffler fired a Saturday 63 to climb the leader board at the RSM Classic. But the PGA Tour rookie's eight birdies at Sea Island's Seaside Course moved him even closer to winning a different competition.

Scheffler now finds himself in great position to win the RSM Birdies for Love, a contest to see which player could make the most birdies during the 11 official fall events, culminating this week at the tournament hosted by Davis Love III. The 23-year-old may trail Brendon Todd by five shots in the tournament, but his 135 birdies have him only three back of Lanto Griffin.

"You can’t see that (leader board) while you’re playing, but obviously, I’m just trying to make birdies,” Scheffler said after.

That leader board is a bit less confusing with Griffin having missed the cut this week. Unless something crazy happens behind him, Scheffler has a clear target to claim the $300,000 first-place check to be donated to a charity of his choice.

So what good cause will the money go to, if Scheffler wins?

"I’ll probably spread it around, try and touch a few different things," Scheffler said. "Obviously, 300 grand is a lot of money so I’ll have to do a lot of thinking for that. I don’t want to think about it until you have the money to do it, though."

Fair enough. Scheffler also doesn't want to think too much about winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year considering how much season is left. But the Texas product has also taken charge in that race, making the cut in all seven events he's played and finishing in the top 10 twice, highlighted by a T-3 at the Bermuda Championship earlier this month. At least, highlighted so far. In what is becoming a regular occurrence, Scheffler has a chance for another high finish on Sunday.

“It’s a lot easier playing when you know you have a bunch of events to play," said Scheffler, who already claimed rookie of the year and player of the year honors on the Korn Ferry Tour this past season. "It’s a little different when you come in, like last summer, I knew I was only getting one or two starts so there’s a little more added pressure. I probably put too much stress on myself trying to play perfect golf. That doesn’t really work out here.”