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Despite being World Number 1 and Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler does not feel he’s necessarily seen as the best player in the world.
“I’m number 1 in the rankings, but I’m not sure that’s how I’m perceived,” he said. “I don't feel like there's any extra attention on me.”
And whether or not he’s simply trying to deflect attention in the build up to the 150th Open Championship, he doesn’t feel that he’s one of the heavy favourites to win this week.
“I would assume not everybody's picking me to win this week,” he said. “I don't think I was the favourite maybe going into the Masters. I'm not sure if I've been the favourite maybe going into any tournaments.”
But the American isn’t going to be put off by what others think and he says he doesn’t pay much attention to what’s written about him on social media and in the press.
Video: Scottie Scheffler
“Staying off of social media, staying off of what you guys write,” he says “I'm not saying you all write bad stuff about me or whoever it is, but your job is to write stories and be critical. That's something you have to do. So for me, having any extra noise inside my head, whether it be from people on social media saying, oh, maybe his swing stinks or whatever it is. I don't even know because I don't read it.”
The 26-year-old is playing at St Andrews for the first time and has been struck by the uniqueness of the historic Old Course.
“I think what surprised me most is all the space off the tee where you're trying to play it into other fairways or just weird stuff like that,” he said. “I didn't really expect playing into opposite fairways as often as we may be doing. It can get a little dangerous out there at times just with the whole crisscross.”
And he confesses that he still has some way to go before he fully understands the challenge of the layout.
“I still haven’t figured it out yet, full disclosure,” he said with a smile.
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think he has a chance of lifting the Claret Jug at the end of the week.
“At home I've prepared and practised and done what I can to play well. When I show up on the first tee, I'm going to be comfortable knowing I did everything I could to play well.”
Scheffler tees off tomorrow at 1.26 alongside Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquin Niemann.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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