Media Center Interviews

March 31, 2021

Pre-Tournament Interview with Scottie Scheffler

JACK RYAN: Like to welcome Scottie Scheffler into the interview room at the 20212 Valero Texas Open. Scottie's making his second start at the event coming off a runner-up finish at last week's WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.

Scottie, how important was it for you last week in the town where you went to college and what kind of positives do you take out of that week coming into this week?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, last week was a lot of fun. Lot of support from the crowd and yeah, it was a really good week. Obviously didn't finish how I wanted to, but definitely some confidence going into this week. I felt like my game trended in the right direction as the week went on and hopefully I continue to improve on that this week.

JACK RYAN: You mentioned the fans. How nice was it to have them behind you and are you expecting similar attention from them this week not far from Austin?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I'm not really sure what to expect this week. I would say I hope they're out supporting me, it's better than people cheering against you, for sure. But yeah, I think this week will be a fun week. I'm sure the crowds, what few can be out here, will be out and having some fun and supporting all the guys. I'm sure the environment will be a little different this week with it being stroke play versus match play, but it sure as heck is going to be a fun week as well.

JACK RYAN: This course, you made one start here before, weren't able to play last year obviously due to the pandemic. How does it feel to be back at TPC San Antonio?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: It feels really good. The golf course is in great shape again this year. I feel this is a course that suits my game pretty well with it being challenging. You have to drive it really well off the tee here, which I think is one of my strengths, so I'm looking forward to getting out and competing tomorrow.

JACK RYAN: With that, we'll open it up to questions.

Q. Scottie, over the years there have been quite a few guys who played in Houston the week before Augusta and went on to win there. I'm wondering if you think that might become something that could happen here in San Antonio, whether a guy that plays here goes on to win it next week, maybe that could be you. How do you think this tournament kind of sets up in that dynamic?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I would say it depends player to player whether guys prefer to play 1 the week before. I'm definitely one of those guys that likes to play the week before a major just because you don't really want to sit at home and for me just kind of think about the event and just kind of overprepare. For me it's nice to have an event to play into, and so coming out here I'm hoping this event turns into something like that. I already noticed they don't have the rough as high as they usually do for this event, so that's a little bit Augusta-like. It's a challenging golf course. This place will kind of expose some parts of your game that may not be as prepared as you'd like them to be for next week, so that's a good part about it.

Q. And in terms of last week, do you feel like -- it's another close call for you. Do you feel like you're closer to getting over that hump and delivering?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, for sure. I feel like I'm close to winning out here. I think if I just keep playing good golf and give myself a couple more chances, it will happen pretty soon.

Q. Scottie, real quickly, you come out here a couple of years ago, people know a little about you, you played really well. This year I'm looking at the odds. I know that's not something you guys are supposed to say that you do. You're second to win this thing. Talk about going from a wide-eyed, you know, guy coming here a couple years ago just trying to compete, happy probably with where you finished, to now people are expecting you to maybe win this thing. That's a really rapid ascension in just a couple of years.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I think it's great. I think it's awesome people have that confidence in me, I definitely have always had that confidence in myself. It's definitely a little strange coming from I think I played this event in 2019 when I was playing on the Web and I was just hoping to get my Tour card and so just to have the opportunity to play in this event was awesome. Now, just playing a full schedule and coming out here with my game in pretty good shape, I definitely expect myself to be there late on Sunday with a chance to win.

Q. You talked about -- the other day you talked about how you like to beat your friends, which I thought was a pretty funny line, and that's true. A lot of guys out here are in that same boat. Are you starting to get to a point where you feel like you're one of the lead dogs instead of one of the ones kind of looking up at the guys who were the big winners now and have that feeling like, hey, they're my buddies and I'm out here to beat you now, not just to be part of this?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I mean, I think I always approached it that way. It definitely feels a little bit different when you have proven yourself a little bit and I've kind of moved my way up in the world rankings, moved my way up in the FedExCup. I had a good finish in the FedExCup last year. So I think the sense is definitely a little bit different in that I feel more like I belong with those guys, I'm not really on the outside looking in. But there's a lot of guys out here that have won a lot of big tournaments and I'm still looking to do that as well, so in that sense I'm still on the outside looking in.

Q. The whole Texas thing, do we overblow that, the fact that you and Jordan are back here in Texas, or is that a genuine factor in giving you a little advantage being in these tournaments?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I don't know if it necessarily gives us an advantage, but I love being able to play in our home state. I think it's great. I love being here in Texas, the food is great, people are great, crowds are wonderful. So for me, if there's an event in Texas, as long as it somewhat fits in my schedule, I'm going to work it in somehow. I mean, I love playing in our home state. I would say just as an excitement factor, I'm sure it's an advantage for us just getting amped up to play in the home state.

JACK RYAN: Scottie, I think those are all the questions we have. We appreciate your time and best of luck this week.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: All right. Thanks, guys.