Scottie Scheffler, to begin, is a nice guy. And an honest one.
With that, let’s talk injuries!
Scheffler, the world No. 1, was in a bit of a rut, or at least a slide that’s notable for world No. 1s. He had opened the Open Championship last month with rounds of 68, 68, 69, then stumbled to a final-round 74. At his next event, at the FedEx St. Jude Championship earlier this month, he missed the cut, before finishing tied for third at last week’s BMW Championship. So you naturally want to know what gives, and, well, here’s Scottie and reporters after Thursday’s Tour Championship first round.
Reporter: “What do you think allowed you to bounce back quickly from the missed cut in Memphis?”
Scheffller: “You know, I really wasn’t playing bad. I played good at the Open. I had kind of a weird little injury thing that prevented me from playing my best on Saturday and Sunday, and then I was — if not for that, I would have felt like I had a really good chance to win the tournament.
“Then going into Memphis, I just had one really, really bad day. I don’t know what happened. I have no idea. Kind of just put it out of my mind and got into Wilmington and got some good work in and then had a solid week last week and had a good start to the week this week.”
Reporter: “What was the weird little injury?”
Scheffler: “Probably TMI [too much information], but I had what’s called a pilonidal infection. It’s an infection at the top of your butt crack. You can look it up. It was really hard for me to bend down. It was really hard for me to make a swing on Sunday. Walking was actually extremely difficult.
“I don’t know if any of you have ever had something like that, but if you talk to someone that does, it is excruciatingly painful. It was brutal. It’s one of those things that just happens …”
Reporter: “Do you know how it happened?”
Scheffler: “Yeah, I’m not going to say it here. I’ll tell you after because that would really be TMI. [Laughter.]
“Yeah, I didn’t ever really plan on telling anybody. It’s kind of one of those things you put on the back burner, and it’s stuff that happens. Guys deal with injuries over the course of the season, and that one popped up at a wrong time for me when I was playing really well. But overall I just —
Reporter: “How long did it take to get over it?”
Scheffler: “About a week. They had to do some — they did a procedure on me Sunday after we got done that the European Tour doctors did a really good job kind of flushing everything out.”
It’s here where we’ll just refer you to a Mayo Clinic link that describes what slowed Scheffler. In short, he’s right. And we must note that he could have kept things to himself. But nice guys don’t. Neither do honest ones.
Anyway, Scheffler’s back. He shot a five-under 65 on Thursday, good for the second-best round of the day, and given that he started at 10-under thanks to his season-long lead in the FedEx Cup standings, he’s now at 15-under, five strokes ahead of the field.