Sport

Insider’s rise from Scottie Scheffler, from marrying high school sweetheart to overcoming losing best friend to bone cancer

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER is poised to make history at this year’s Masters.

The American star, 25, goes into the finals at Augusta National with a three-shot lead famous green jacket in his sights.

Scheffler is just one round away from his first-ever Major title

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Scheffler is just one round away from his first-ever Major titlePhoto credit: Reuters
The world No. 1 always has the support of wife and high school sweetheart Meredith

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The world No. 1 always has the support of wife and high school sweetheart MeredithCredit: EPA
The couple married in 2020 after meeting at Highland Park High School

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The couple married in 2020 after meeting at Highland Park High SchoolPhoto credit: Instagram @scottie.scheffler
The husband and wife couple have teamed up for the annual Masters Par 3 competition

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The husband and wife couple have teamed up for the annual Masters Par 3 competitionPhoto credit: Instagram @scottie.scheffler

The win for the world No. 1 would earn him his first major title after already having three PGA Tour wins this season.

It’s been a meteoric rise for New Jersey native Scheffler, who played a key role in Team USA’s overwhelming Ryder Cup victory last year.

Scheffler’s parents, Scott and Diane, moved the family to Dallas, Texas when the golf prodigy was just seven years old.

And it turned out to be the perfect move for the budding star, who learned his trade at Highland Park, near where she lives in Ridgewood.

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It’s safe to say that the Scheffler’s are a golfing family, with Scottie’s three sisters, Callie, Sara and Molly, all avid players.

The children all competed in the same tournament in Mississippi, where then six-year-old Sara scored the family’s first, and still only, double-headed eagle.

It wasn’t just golf that Scheffler excelled in his teenage years, with his 6ft3, 200lbs frame that was also useful on the school basketball court.

Scottie explained to Golf Digest, “In high school I narrowed it down to basketball and golf.

“All my life I have known how much I love golf. It was the one sport I always wanted to play, no matter what the season.”

“HE REALLY GOES TO PLACES”

Highland Park not only laid the foundation for Scottie’s golf career, but also met his wife-to-be.

Scheffler began dating Meredith Scudderwith their 2020 journey culminating in a winter wonderland wedding.

Meredith and Scottie both attended college in Texas, but attended the campuses of rivals – Scheffler at the University of Texas and Scudder at Texas A&M.

And she revealed how he popped the question during a hike at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

Scudder wrote on her Instagram: “YES! I can’t believe God gave me my best friend to spend the rest of my life with, I can’t wait to be your wife Scottie!!!! Overwhelmed by the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness to us. [LET’S] DO THAT!!”

Scheffler remains one of the humblest players on tour and he has no interest in it large villas or super yachts.

“INCREDIBLE TALENT”

As a devout Christian, he is not a fan of social media and prefers to stay out of the spotlight.

Meredith explains, “Earlier in high school, I always thought he had a super humble vibe, that he was just a really down-to-earth guy who didn’t take himself too seriously.

“Even though he had amazing successes, that wasn’t the most important thing about him.”

Scheffler turned pro in 2018, showing the world glimpses of his talent before truly exploding on stage in the last 12 months.

His three PGA Tour wins this season have boosted both his status and bank balance.

He has bagged around $7.3 million in prize money in the 2021-22 campaign and that could go up if he holds off Cameron Smith on the final day of the Masters.

Scheffler’s incredible rise to world No. 1 is even more remarkable considering he lost his best friend James Ragan to cancer just five years ago.

The inseparable duo grew up together and also struggled on the court, where James was a scratch player despite his diagnosis.

Two years Scottie’s senior, he played tournaments with his chemopack around his waist and a needle in his leg.

James was diagnosed with a rare cancer called osteosarcoma when he was just 13 and battled it out for seven years before passing away in 2014 at the age of 20.

Scheffler arranged for the Ragan family to meet his own before teeing off in Augusta, sorting out tickets for James’ nearest and dearest.

James’ sister Mecklin said: “James would be so proud of him, but he would also say, ‘Yes, it’s about time Scottie, why did you take so long?’

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“They met through golf. Scottie was identified as a standout junior and James, despite his illness, has put himself to work and they have played events together.

“He was two years older than Scottie but they hit it off right away and became very close.

“What James respected so much about Scottie was that he saw someone younger than him with an incredible talent that didn’t waste it.

“James said to me, ‘I’ve only got so many days, months, years to live and I’m trying to make the most of my time.

“And the people around me waste the gifts they got. Not Scottie, though.

James helped start a charity called Triumph Over Kid Cancer and has raised over $3 million since 2010.

Scheffler continues his search for the Green Jacket in Augusta on April 10 where he will tee off alongside Australia’s Cameron Smith at 2:30pm ET.

Scottie's pal James Ragan died after battling bone cancer for seven years

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Scottie’s pal James Ragan died after battling bone cancer for seven yearsCredit: Triumph Over Childhood Cancer
The past 12 months have been a whirlwind one for the Dallas-based star

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The past 12 months have been a whirlwind one for the Dallas-based starPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty
Just two years after his winter wonderland wedding, Scottie is now number 1 in the world

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Just two years after his winter wonderland wedding, Scottie is now number 1 in the worldPhoto credit: Instagram @scottie.scheffler
The 25-year-old has three sisters, all of whom are talented golfers

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The 25-year-old has three sisters, all of whom are talented golfersPhoto credit: Instagram @scottie.scheffler

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18223131/scottie-scheffler-masters-friend-cancer-sweetheart/ Insider’s rise from Scottie Scheffler, from marrying high school sweetheart to overcoming losing best friend to bone cancer

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