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No.1 new dad Scheffler enjoying life but strives for more at PGA

Top-ranked new father Scottie Scheffler reacts to a shot on the second hole during a practice round ahead of the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla (Andrew Redington)
Top-ranked new father Scottie Scheffler reacts to a shot on the second hole during a practice round ahead of the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla (Andrew Redington)

In a rare moment of reflection, Scottie Scheffler looked at his wife, his newborn son and his Masters winner green jacket and enjoyed a special satisfied feeling.

But that was last week, and now top-ranked Scheffler ends a three-week layoff trying to capture his third career major title at this week's 106th PGA Championship.

"I think the human heart is always striving for more," Scheffler said Tuesday. "And the competitiveness in me, it doesn't really allow me to reflect that much."

Scheffler has won four of his past five starts, a Houston Open playoff loss the only blemish on a run that includes wins at Bay Hill, The Players, the Masters and the Heritage before the layoff so wife Meredith could give birth to their first child, Bennett.

"At home it was a nice time to reflect a little bit on my career so far and where my life has gone," Scheffler said. "It was definitely nice.

"I can't really describe the feeling of dreaming of just playing on the PGA Tour, to be sitting at home with the girl I dated in high school with our child and then the green jacket sitting in the closet is a pretty insane feeling."

Scheffler said he plans to compete at the Paris Olympics, being comfortably ranked to qualify atop six US players in the world top 10 and everyone else.

"Becoming an Olympian would be a dream come true," Scheffler said. "Be a nice little thing to be able to trash talk to my buddies about when they say golfers aren't athletes. I can claim I'm an Olympian. It's definitely a tournament that has been on my schedule and I'll definitely be playing there if I'm able."

Scheffler, 27, is already pondering how he can make the best use of more limited time to work on golf now that he's a new dad.

"I think just continued efficiency, continuing to get more efficient in the way I do things," Scheffler said.

"I was at home working out on Sunday and it was like the fastest workout I ever did at home, just because I was ready to go back in the living room and hang out with Mer and our son.

"I think a lot of that will come naturally, just being as focused as I can and trying to stay present. When I'm out here at the golf course doing my job, I'm able to focus on that. Then when I get home, I'm able to leave the golf course there and focus on being with my wife and son."

There were plenty of PGA dad-visors offering suggestions for Scheffler as a new father, including 15-time major winner Tiger Woods.

"Try and get some rest as much as you possibly can," Woods said. "He's the number one player in the world and having a great, stable family life at home is important to having a great life out here on tour."

- 'It's just nuts' -

Scheffler was already stunned at the birthing process.

"It was just wild watching Meredith go through that. It's just nuts," he said. "I don't really know how to describe it, watching the little dude come out of Meredith.

"Extremely proud of Meredith after watching her go through that... I don't know if I could have done it."

Mom and baby are healthy and well after a first Mother's Day on Sunday and Meredith's birthday on Monday, Scheffler said.

When it comes to reflecting on how many major titles he might win, Scheffler tightens his focus to the test at hand.

"I don't really try to look that far ahead," Scheffler said. "I may win a lot of major championships, I may be stuck at two the rest of my career. It doesn't really concern me in the moment. I'm just trying to prepare as best as possible for this week."

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