Scottie Scheffler: 'frustrated, mentally fatigued' at RBC Heritage, six shots back

Scottie Scheffler - 2024 RBC Heritage
Scottie Scheffler - 2024 RBC Heritage / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Scottie Scheffler, fresh off his Masters victory, finished his first round at the RBC Heritage at 2-under par, six shots behind the leader, J.T. Poston. He blamed fatigue after the emotional experience of winning the Masters.  

“I got pretty frustrated towards the middle of the round because I was playing good, felt like I was hitting good putts, and my speed was maybe a touch off,” Scheffler said. “I was out on some of my reads.”

Frustration would be the only downside of a big victory.    

He confessed to shanking a shot from a bunker on the third hole. He said he actually does it quite often, but not in competition.

“It clearly was just a mental lapse, and I wasn't quite into it yet,” he noted about hitting the professional’s worst shot. 

He also blamed fatigue, understandable after winning the Masters, staying up late to celebrate a little bit with friends, then turning around two days later and flying back east to South Carolina. But there was never a thought to skipping the tournament.

“On the greens I felt like I maybe was just over-reading some of my putts, seeing too much break coming from greens like last week where they're so fast and there's so much break,” he suggested.  

The greens at Harbour Town Golf Links are, according to Scheffler, a different type of grass than Augusta National. In addition, there’s less slope on them. He felt he overread some of them. They are the second smallest greens on the PGA Tour. Pebble Beach Golf Links has the smallest ones.

“They're much flatter, and then you've got to play grain,” he added. “I didn't get my normal amount of work in that I typically would on the greens.”

His best shot, he said, was a par putt from the fringe on the 11th hole.

Scottie Scheffler called it the mud ball hole.

That's because his ball picked up mud on the drive when it landed. Mud changes the flight of the ball, and it can be hard to predict where the ball will go with mud on it.

“I hit a great tee shot right up the middle of the fairway. Especially after missing a short birdie look there on 10, and then I get up there and there's mud on my ball, and it's like, this is annoying,” he explained.

“You can't really miss left there, and instead of landing in the bunker, it lands on the slope and the slope shoots it 30 feet into the bunker instead of being right there on the edge where I could maybe get it up-and-down,” he explained. “I was obviously frustrated with that type of break, and then to get up there and knock the putt in was a nice feeling. Used it as some good momentum for the closing stretch.”

According to Scheffler, the frustration he feels when he doesn’t play well sometimes actually helps him get focused.

“You can use that as good energy and you can use that as bad energy, so I tried to use it as best I could for the good stuff today,” he said.

Scheffler said due to the events of the weekend, he did not go through his typical pre-tournament preparation.

“I think getting into the heat of another tournament is good for me mentally. I'll have a nice long break before I tee off tomorrow,” he said. 

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His tee time in Friday’s second round is 1:30 PM.