Scottie Scheffler aims to keep momentum going after first victory in Phoenix

Scottie Scheffler answers questions Tuesday during a news conference at the Genesis Invitational. (Connor Zimmerlee/Medill Reports)

By Erin McMahon
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES — Scottie Scheffler is starting the 2022 Genesis Invitational on a high note, coming off his first PGA Tour victory at the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open. And while he said it’s nice to finally have a win under his belt, Scheffler is focused on retaining his energy as he finishes the tour in Los Angeles. He skipped the practice round on Monday to rest up after all the excitement and has been mentally preparing for the eccentricities of the Riviera Country Club course.

“This is just one of those funny courses that kind of ticks you off all week,” Scheffler said Tuesday in a pre-tournament news conference. “It’s just a really frustrating course to play because it seems like it’d be really easy, but it’s extremely difficult.”

But, other than the course, not much is changing for Scheffler going into Genesis. He said he adheres to a regular pre-round routine that keeps him in the ideal tournament headspace. For Scheffler, it’s the simple things like a warmup workout and getting to the course two hours early that help him the most. But, for each tournament, the motivation to succeed is always on his mind.

“I just always get excited to come out, play and whatnot, and that’s usually enough for me to give it my best effort,” Scheffler said after finishing his round.

Growing as a player over the years, Scheffler said adjusting his mentality has advanced his game. Most of his “bumps in the road” still tend to be self-inflicted, but he’s better at moving forward after a disappointing play. However, the drive to play to his perfect version of golf in the last few rounds remains constant.  

“I think I’ve always done a really good job of kind of fighting back in regular rounds. I think it’s different in the final rounds when I’m trying to beat everybody in the field,” Scheffler said during the Tuesday news conference.

For most golfers on the tour, the Genesis Invitational strikes an emotional chord because of Tiger Woods, the tournament’s host, and Scheffler is no exception. Woods’ influence is a part of the motivation for golfers playing in the tournament to achieve greatness. 

“I’ve looked up to the guy for so long and he’s so good at the game, all of us are trying to be just a little bit like him on the golf course,” Scheffler said as he walked off the ninth hole. 

Scheffler is ranked ninth overall on the PGA Tour and teed off Thursday with Jon Rahm and Jordan Speith. 

Erin McMahon is a graduate student at Medill. You can follow her on Twitter @erinamcmahon.