Now they'd be able to pick out Scottie Scheffler on streets of St Andrews

Even in St Andrews, Scottie Scheffler could have walked down one of the main streets a couple of months ago and barely been recognised. But not now.

Not after one of the most meteoric rises in sport, having capped an incredible run of success in a 57-day period by becoming the new Masters champion.

The 25-year-old has won four times in that spell, beating stronger fields on each occasion in announcing himself as the game’s bright new star.

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“I didn't get to the press room in my dreams, so you guys are going to have to ask me some questions,” said Scheffler, smiling, as he arrived in the Press Building at Augusta National on Sunday night soon after his three-shot success in the season’s opening major.

Scottie Scheffler and caddie Ted Scott celebrate on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

The Texas-based player shone on his Ryder Cup debut by helping the US record their record 19-9 win at Whistling Straits last September.

He’d been knocking at the door on the PGA Tour without managing to open it, though, before landing a play-off win in the WM Phoenix Open in February.

Like that tale about buses, he then added the Arnold Palmer Invitational two starts later before also triumphing in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The latter saw him rise to world No 1 and, on Sunday, Scheffler joined Ian Woosnam (1991), Fred Couples (1992), Tiger Woods (2001 and 2002) and Dustin Johnson (2022) as the only players to claim a Green Jacket as the game’s top-ranked players.

“No,” he replied laughing to being asked if he could ever have imagined how the last two months had panned out for him, having established a healthy lead in the world rankings over new No 2 Collin Morikawa, with Jon Rahm having slipped to third spot.

“I've never been a guy that likes to look too far into the future. So for me just staying present has always been what works best for me. So even though I would get asked ‘when are you going to get your first win?’, the only time I ever thought about it was when it actually happened in Phoenix.”

Scheffler was the only player in the field to shoot red figures in each round during a tougher-than-normal week at Augusta National, ending with a 10-under 278 total as he won by three shots from the fast-finishing Rory McIlroy, who matched the event’s best last-day score with a 64.

Having built up a five-shot lead at the halfway stage and then starting out with a three-shot cushion on Sunday, Scheffler faced a test of character when Cameron Smith closed the gap to just one after a birdie-birdie start. But, after chipping in for a birdie at the third, Scheffler always seemed to be in the driving seat. Even a sloppy four-putt at the last couldn’t take the gloss off a brilliant week’s work.

“I think I just stayed patient and trusted myself,” he said when asked about his biggest strength over the four days. “I had a lot of nice up-and-downs, too. If I was to pick one part of my game that excelled the most, I would say it was probably my lob-wedge. Even today, I had some really good up-and-downs in the beginning of the round and then just kept myself in position.”

Had the third hole been important in calming him down? “I would say what is most pivotal was getting that ball up-and-down,” insisted Scheffler. “To have it go in was obviously off the charts, but my main goal was just to get up-and-down and parring four and five was huge as well.

“After that, I kind of just started cruising. I felt comfortable with pretty much most of the aspects of my game. My swing maybe felt a little bit off, but I feel like I wasn't ever really going to make a bogey. That was my goal. I just tried to hit good shots, and that's really all I was thinking about.”

Scheffler’s biggest success to date came in an event that saw five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods make his eagerly-awaited return to the game after being his leg might be amputated following a car crash in California 14 months ago.

“Oh, yeah,” said Scheffler in a flash to being asked if, like so many of his peers, he’d been influenced as a youngster by Woods. “I played Tiger's irons, wore his shoes, wore his shirt this week.

“Yeah. Tiger on the golf course is just ridiculous. He's done so much for the game of golf and we are so glad to have him back out here.

“He is the needle for the game of golf. He has completely changed the PGA Tour from when he came on 25 years ago or maybe 26 now. And his YouTube clips are such an inspiration for me. I remember watching the highlights of him winning in '97, kind of running away with it, and he never really broke his concentration.

“That's something that I reminded myself of today. I tried not to look up. I tried to keep my head down and just keep doing what I was doing because I didn't want to break my concentration.

“The minute I did was on 18 green when I finally got on there and I had a five-shot lead and was like, all right, now I can enjoy this. And you saw the results of that (laughing). Thank you, Tiger!”

As the event’s newest Green Jacket holder, Scheffler will get to join Woods and all the other living winners at the Georgia venue at next year’s Champions’ Dinner.

“That's the coolest part about this whole deal,” he said of being able to return to the event for as long as he wants. “This is such a fun golf course. It's such a fun piece of property. I mean, it's Augusta National. It's about as cool as it gets.”

What about also winning the 150th Open at St Andrews?

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