New father Scheffler still wants to win

Henry

Scottie Scheffler is one of the biggest draws to tee off this week in the PGA Championship at the Harbor Town Course in Valhalla, South Carolina.

The 27-year-old American, the leading golfer on the international stage, missed a previous tournament in Charlotte due to the birth of his first child, Bennett.

However, he has now been persuaded to collect his third Major title, while the prize money of $20 million (about R369 million) can also be a nice windfall.

“I had high expectations of what it would feel like to be a father and I have to admit that it was far exceeded,” Scheffler told The Golf Channel.

“It was a challenge to leave the house this morning (Monday). I’m committed to playing this week and I’m excited to compete.”

There was initially uncertainty about his participation.

Although Scheffler could not prepare as usual, he is still ready for any challenge on the court.

He has swept the scepter in four of his past five tournaments, with only the Houston Open playoff keeping him away from the silverware.

He walked away with the laurels at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament, The Players Championship, the Masters as well as in the Heritage Tournament.

“I’m here (in Valhalla) to play to the best of my ability. I need to get the exercise in. It would have been challenging if I had only left on Wednesday.”

Scheffler spent time on the practice range and short game area, where he struck up conversations with Brooks Koepka (defending champion) and Jon Rahm (two-time Major winner), among others, before playing the final nine holes.

He will officially tee off in Valhalla on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy, the world’s second best player, will start his campaign on the very day.

The Irishman is a four-time Major winner and he also collected the Wells Fargo title at Quail Hallow.

“I’m a much better player now than I was then,” McIlroy said after his victory.

“I don’t necessarily have the necessary Major testimonial behind me to back it up, but I’ve won tournaments.”

The 35-year-old player from Northern Ireland has finished in the top ten 20 times in 35 Major tournaments since his Valhalla victory a decade ago.