The perfect conclusion to Scottie Scheffler’s dream season looked like it was in the bag.
Scheffler was cruising toward his fifth victory of the year, the FedEx Cup championship, and the $18 million paycheck that comes with it after leading by six shots through three rounds of the season-ending Tour Championship.
But Scheffler was unable to adapt in the decisive East Lake round. Three of his first six holes were bogeys, and by the seventh, Rory McIlroy had passed him. Through the middle of the round, he and McIlroy engaged in a battle, but when Scheffler couldn’t get up and down on hole 16, McIlroy gained the lead and never lost it.
The surprising winner was McIlroy, who started the competition with a triple bogey and was briefly double-digits behind the leader.
Then, something even more improbable occurred.
One of the first persons McIlroy saw as he left the 18th green was the father of the golfer he had just defeated by seven strokes and, in effect, stolen millions from.
Awkward? Yes, that was possible. But it ended up being more touching than anything else.
Scott Scheffler’s father, who is also called Scott, was approached by McIlroy, who hugged him and apologized.
I apologize. Consider that. Being sorry for performing your job.
Scott answered, “No, you don’t have to do that.”
McIlroy added, “He deserves it,” at this time they were talking over each other. “He’s had an unbelievable year,”
Scott smiled and said, “I love you, too.
In the competitive world of professional golf, it was one of the cutest moments you’ll ever watch. It didn’t stop there, though.
Scottie Scheffler’s wife Meredith joined in for a bear embrace.
She said, “So proud of you. That’s amazing. You kicked butt today. Congrats.”
The mother of Scottie was next to speak. More words of support and a second embrace for McIlroy: “Congrats. Good job. Great job.”
Nobody like seeing their son or spouse lose, but if it must, McIlroy makes for a likable adversary. this year in particular. McIlroy has become into the most outspoken brand advocate on the PGA Tour in response to LIV Golf’s growth. When he’s not praising the Tour, he’s berating a newcomer rival.
As McIlroy acknowledged after his victory on Sunday, “It’s been a tumultuous time for the world of men’s professional golf. I’ve been right in the middle of it. … I guess every chance I get, I’m trying to defend what I feel is the best place to play elite professional golf in the world. It’s in some ways fitting that I was able to get this done today to sort of round off a year that has been very, very challenging and different.”
In some ways appropriate? The ultimate champion at the time was McIlroy.
Ask the father of the guy he beat.
Original article posted on Golf.com