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SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – With a new face on his bag, Scottie Scheffler continued to look just fine.
The 25-year-old, who finished fourth in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and runner-up in last week’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open in the last two weeks, rolled into the Sea Island Golf Club with veteran caddie Ted Scott on his bag.
Scott had walked step for step alongside Bubba Watson for 15 years before the two split in September, during which time Watson won 12 events, including the Masters twice. But in their first week together, Scheffler and Scott were as one as the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year and 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year shot 7-under-par 63 on the Seaside Course to grab a spot on the first page of the leaderboard.
He is three shots behind Sebastian Munoz, who tied the Seaside Course record with a 60.
Scottie Scheffler of the United States watches his shot on the 17th hole during the first round of The RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort on November 18, 2021, in St Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
“It’s great,” Scheffler said of his new partnership. “Teddy’s a real positive influence. We were in a good mood all day. He did a good job helping me stay patient, not overthink things out there.
“I really just think the world of him as a person, so for me, that’s why I was attracted to him just being a potential good partner for me out on the course. We’ll just see how things go right now. Today was a lot of fun and we’ll go from there.”
Scheffler’s 63 could have been even lower as he burned at least four edges of the cup on three birdie putts and one eagle putt. After staying patient, as he said, with the help of Scott’s soft-toned encouragement, Scheffler finally saw a 23-footer drop for birdie on his 16th hole. He then made a 20-footer for birdie on his 17th hole and a 25-footer for birdie on his 18th.
🐦 10 feet
🐦 23 feet
🐦 20 feet
🐦 25 feet
Scottie Scheffler turns it on down the stretch for a 7-under 63. pic.twitter.com/KPwbWc1X5M
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 18, 2021
“I didn’t really feel like I was hitting bad putts, so it was pretty easy for me to stay patient just because, I mean, nothing you can really do,” said Scheffler, who is ranked 17th in the world. “I was hitting good putts most of the time at the appropriate speeds. Outside of that, they just weren’t falling. I knew if I kept hitting good putts, they’d fall.
“Luckily, they started falling today versus waiting for tomorrow.”
Scheffler, who earlier this year lost in the final to Billy Horschel in the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and took down world No. 1 Jon Rahm in Sunday singles as the U.S. crushed Europe in the Ryder Cup, is looking for his first PGA Tour title.
While he looks physically fine, he is attentive to the mental aspect of being in contention so much as he tries to win his first.
“I think playing a lot of weeks in a row, it’s really difficult to stay at a high level,” he said. “For me the last few weeks I knew I was going into this three‑week stretch, so I just did my best to get some rest before coming out and relaxing and getting a lot of rest outside of the course of events.
“This week’s been pretty chill.”
Especially, so far, with a new man carrying the bag.