Scottie Scheffler got ‘Texas angry,’ and then set the course record at the Houston Open

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HOUSTON — As is often the case in autumn, the talk this week in the state of Texas has been college football. The beloved Texas Longhorns are slogging through another disappointing season and after an embarrassing loss at Iowa State last weekend, a short video leaked on social media of UT assistant coach Bo Davis going ballistic on the bus ride home, angry with his players over the joking that followed the debacle.

Davis’ profanity-filled tirade included a clear message — get serious or get off the bus.

After posting a lethargic 72 in the opening round of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open, former Longhorn Scottie Scheffler bogeyed the fourth hole, and it looked like he could be slipping away from the cutline.

That’s when Scheffler channeled some of Davis’ Texas anger. He fumed while walking up No. 5 after booming a 300-yard drive down the left side of the fairway.

What followed was the best round in the short history of this event at the newly renovated Memorial Park Golf Course. Scheffler made birdie on four of the last five holes before the turn, then followed with a 31 on the back for a course-record 62.

“I think anger can go a few ways on the golf course,” Scheffler said. “You can use it and get even more frustrated and more pissed off and you start thinking negatively. I used that anger today as a positive. After I bogeyed No. 4, I basically told myself I’ve had enough of this crap.”

Scheffler, who finished fourth at last week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, didn’t just stay on the bus, he got it turned in the right direction. He now sits just four shots behind early wave leader Martin Trainer, well within striking distance with the weekend approaching.

“I started hitting some fairways. Yesterday I was playing out of the rough most of the time, so it was just nice getting the ball out there in play, giving myself some opportunities,” Scheffler said. “This golf course can be pretty challenging from the Bermuda rough and you’ve got to hit the ball in play. If you’re hitting it in the rough to elevated greens that you can’t hold just because you’re hitting knucklers out of the rough, so it was very important to get the ball in the fairway.”

The difficult course layout has intimidated a few players, but not Scheffler. The Tom Doak redesign has made the municipal course one that can cause fits, but the Dallas resident finished 32nd here last year, closing things out with a final-round 65.

He’s excited to see what the final two rounds will bring.

“I think the course here is really solid. It’s a challenging golf course. I really appreciate that. I feel I get a little tired of playing the golf courses where you’ve got to shoot 20-something under to win,” Scheffler said. “Out here maybe winning in the mid-teens, high teens, whatever it is, that’s a nice challenging course.”

As for owning the course record, that’s nothing new for Scheffler, who said he can make that claim at a few courses, including TPC Boston, where he shot a 59 in the 2020 Northern Trust.