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Scottie Scheffler is flying at The Masters, but will leave tournament ‘at a moment’s notice’ if wife goes into labour

Scottie Scheffler watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/George Walker IV) Scottie Scheffler watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

In his current form, it almost feels like nothing can stop Scottie Scheffler from clinching his second Masters crown – yet the world No. 1 may have a date with destiny that lies beyond Augusta National.

The American has lived up to his billing as the pre-tournament favorite at the 88th edition of the major, shooting a bogey-free opening round to move within a stroke of the leading Bryson DeChambeau.

It leaves the 27-year-old primed to make a run at another green jacket and a third title in just over a month, but 2022 champion Scheffler will depart the tournament “at a moment’s notice” – even if he is leading – should his wife Meredith go into labor.

The high-school sweethearts, who married in 2020, are not expecting their first child for another few weeks, but Scheffler has reiterated his pre-tournament promise that he would be “out of here” if the birth arrived sooner than expected.

“I think the first child wins … over many things in my life,” Scheffler told broadcasters during the par three contest on the eve of the tournament, where his sister Sara caddied for him in his wife’s absence at the family-focused competition.

Speaking on Thursday after his first round six-under 66 – his best ever Masters round on his fifth start – Scheffler was asked if he was concerned whether there was a scenario in which he would need to leave the tournament.

“Maybe I should be more concerned. I don’t really know,” Scheffler replied, laughing.

“People have asked us how our preparation is going for the baby. I feel like we are a little underprepared. The nursery is not quite ready and we’ve had some issues at our house the last few weeks. I think that’s the exciting part. I think we are definitely underprepared to be parents.

“As far as her going into labour, I wouldn’t say I’m very concerned. We haven’t seen any of the early signs. But pregnancy is weird. It can happen at any time. Yeah, open lines of communication and she can get ahold of me if she needs to.

“I’m ready to go at a moment’s notice.”

After a stellar 2023 campaign that saw him retain the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year title, Scheffler has only consolidated his status as the dominant force in men’s golf this season. Just one week after a dominant victory at The Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, he mounted a stunning late charge to become the first player to ever defend The Players Championship.

Speaking after his historic win, Scheffler dished out special praise to his support system at home in Dallas.

“I have a great wife, and if I started taking my trophies and putting them all over the house and walking in all big-time, I think she would smack me on the side of the head and tell me to get over myself pretty quickly,” Scheffler told reporters.

“Winning golf tournaments doesn’t give me any brownie points at home, so I just try and do my best.”

Scheffler tees off for his second round at 1:48 p.m. ET alongside playing partners Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy.

Burns joins Scheffler on baby watch

Scheffler isn’t the only player on baby alert – so too is friend and this week’s roommate Sam Burns.

World No. 22 Burns’ wife Caroline has an even sooner due date, with the five-time PGA Tour winner admitting ahead of his third Masters start that he hoped for no arrival until after the green jacket had been awarded.

“It’s definitely been difficult. I miss Caroline, I wish she was here, but it’s been fun, too,” Burns, 27, told reporters on Wednesday.

“I know she wants me to be here, so hopefully no baby this week. Hopefully stays in there until after Sunday.”

It may not matter. Burns shot three double bogeys en route to an opening eight-over 80 – just two shots better than the field’s worst score – leaving him with a mountain to climb in order to survive the cut and make it to the weekend.

Impending births have made their marks at major championships before. Phil Mickelson’s caddie Jim Mackay carried a beeper around all 72 holes of the 1999 U.S. Open in case the golfer’s wife Amy went into labour.

Mickelson agonizingly finished one stroke behind compatriot Payne Stewart, who consoled his rival on the 18th green by telling him: “There’s nothing like being a father.”

A day later, Mickelson – who shot 73 Thursday – was beside his wife as she gave birth to their first child. Top Stories

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