Brash, bold, quotable, eager: Next-door neighbor Scottie Scheffler is none of these, but he just keeps cruising

Every so often, someone comes along who’s capable of taming the beastliest, most excruciating game that man has inflicted on itself with little more than a smirk and a shrug.

What Scottie Scheffler is doing to golf isn’t easy. It dang sure isn’t normal.

But see, he acts like it’s both.

The bad doesn’t fluster him. The good doesn’t seem to enthuse him. No cursing. No celebrating. Just the next shot. It’s remarkable, Scheffler’s untouched demeanor. You could call it a gift. Or robotic. Or mentally tough.

You could also, of course, call it boring.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In sports, the inevitable usually is boring.

On Sunday, that’s what Scheffler was: Inevitable. He didn’t just win the Masters for the second time in three years. He won after four days of, “Yup, there’s Scheffler.” The guy was widely expected to win it at the start – and then at the end, with most viewers rooting against him so the final round would be more competitive, he played even better while others faltered, turning it into a back-nine rout.

In a field with 89 of the world’s best golfers, including the PGA Tour’s briefly reunited LIV defectors, no one finished within four shots of Scheffler’s 11-under-par. Only hotshot rookie Ludwig Aberg (7 under) was within seven strokes. Then Scheffler smiled and put on another green jacket and went home to his wife and continued preparing to be a father, which was clearly his priority all along during this tournament.

He’s just so normal, right? To be this good at golf?

On Thursday, during the first round of the RBC Heritage, Scheffler mucked up the third hole, taking a double bogey. The rest of the day, however, he made very few mistakes en route to a 69 that put him, you guessed it, well within striking distance of the leaders. Slow and steady.

Only the all-time greats win this way, but with Scheffler, his budding greatness gets understated. Because his personality doesn’t lend itself to fame – or appear to have any interest in it.

In a sport known for greed and selfishness, two things embodied by the LIV players’ cash grabs, and in a sport where golfers are more increasingly becoming fine-tuned athletes, muscles bulging from under shirts, there’s beauty in the fact that Scheffler doesn’t come off like any of that.

He’s 27, but he looks – and carries himself – closer to 37, especially with the beard. He seems more like your friendly neighbor next door or your buddy from college who can make you laugh without saying much. The one who always answers the phone when you call, because “Man, I ain’t that busy.”

We should treasure this in a superstar, honestly, but something tells me we won’t.

In our society, we prefer our sports stars a certain way – brash, bold, quotable, eager for attention. We remember Barry Sanders admiringly for flipping the ball to referees after touchdowns, but it’s Deion Sanders that we still can’t stop talking about. Pete Sampras more often beat Andre Agassi on the tennis court, but Agassi was always the brightest star. Image is everything, if you recall.

It doesn’t take much to be entertaining in golf. My late grandfather loved Chi Chi Rodriguez because of how he used his putter as a sword. Heck, Patrick Cantlay played without a hat for last year’s Ryder Cup, and it led to an international incident.

With Scheffler, the most unique thing about watching him play is that he travels when he shoots. On each long-range shot, he “scheffles” his feet in this strange, untidy little dance move. It attracts your eye but typically doesn’t keep that golf ball from going where Scheffler intended, an indication that he has figured out something about the golf swing that hadn’t been discovered.

Scheffler has long been the best ball-striker in golf, hindered only by his putting. If he ever got that part of his game in order, they’ve said, no one else would have a chance.

Lately, he has gotten his putting in order.

With 2024 thus far being a free-for-all on the PGA Tour, with the recent winners list featuring a bunch of names you wouldn’t know, there’s still Scheffler. He keeps asserting his dominance. He has won three times in the past six weeks. He won at Bay Hill. He took The Players, even though he hurt his neck in the process.

2024 Masters Tournament
2024 Masters Tournament

Scottie Scheffler walks up to the No. 17 green during the first round of the 2024 Masters Tournament. (Photo: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Network)

And now, he’s got The Masters in his pocket with the other three majors and Paris Olympics still out there to be won in 2024. Scheffler could be zeroing in on a historic run. He’s playing that much better than anyone else.

In Augusta this past week, in difficult conditions and gusty winds, Brooks Koepka (9 over) didn’t play a round under par. Adam Hadwin (12 over), Tony Finau (13 over), Tiger Woods (16 over) and Vijay Singh (16 over) all had rounds of 80 or worse. And these five golfers all made the cut.

Who didn’t? Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland, Brian Harman, Sam Burns, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and reigning U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark – a popular pre-tournament pick outside of Scheffler.

Many who’d been playing well on the PGA Tour lately got chewed up and spit out by Augusta National.

But not Scheffler.

The hardest, once again, looked easy for him. Nothing wrong with acting like you’ve been there before, especially when you have.

Reach Tennessean sports columnist Gentry Estes at and on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter) @Gentry_Estes. 

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek