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World number one Scottie Scheffler admits his position at the top of the rankings may not be universally acknowledged but insists it is the least of his concerns.
The 26-year-old made his major breakthrough with victory at the Masters in April, having already usurped Jon Rahm to become number one with three victories in 43 days.
He has maintained his form with a joint-second place at last month’s US Open but still does not appear to get full credit for his achievements.
“I guess I am number one in the rankings – I’m not sure if I’m necessarily perceived that way by you all or whoever it is, but that’s not stuff that I really ever think about,” he said ahead of his St Andrews debut for the 150th Open Championship.
“I don’t feel like there’s any extra attention on me. I haven’t read much, but I would assume not everybody’s picking me to win this week, just stuff like that.
“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.
“That may not be the true perception, that’s just mine.
“But I don’t read a ton of stuff so, for me, I don’t really feel like whatever being number one would be.
“I don’t feel like there’s any more pressure on me. I’m showing up like everybody else trying to come here and play well at a golf tournament.”
Scheffler has had plenty of time for preparation at the Home of Golf as he missed the cut at last week’s Scottish Open.
However, despite a couple of additional days of practice and strategy on the eve of the tournament, there are still holes he has no idea how to tackle.
“The first one I’m thinking of is 13. Still haven’t figured it out yet. A lot of it just depends on wind direction,” said the American.
“So, for instance, on 13, since it’s so firm and if the wind’s blowing 20mph off the right, a lot of these bunkers are bowls and so it’s a stroke penalty, pretty much for everyone, so if I can take that out of play and hit it in the rough where it’s only maybe a quarter shot or a half-shot penalty that may be the best strategy.
“We stood on the fairway for five minutes talking to Teddy (caddie Ted Scott) and I was like ‘dude, I still don’t know a good solution’ but the one we came up with yesterday is just try to hit it in the rough because the fairways are rolling faster than the greens.”