ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Scottie Scheffler does not feel any pressure being the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer as he believes those around the sport do not necessarily view him as best player on the planet.
“I guess it’s good. I guess I am No. 1 in the rankings,” Scheffler said Wednesday at St. Andrews ahead of The Open. “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. For me, I’m just trying to go out and play good golf.”
Asked why he felt he was not recognized as the world No. 1, Scheffler answered: “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 favorite maybe going into the Masters. I’m not sure if I’ve been the favorite 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 No. 1 would be.”
Scheffler has been top of the rankings since March 28, after he won the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas. He won his first major title at the Masters in April.
He has been enjoying his time at St. Andrews and spent time navigating the “Road Hole” bunker on No. 17 in practice. While he hopes to avoid that pitfall when he tees off Thursday, Scheffler said the unpredictable wind and firm nature of the course mean he is preparing for the unexpected over the next four days.
“I think that’s one of the special things about this golf course. It’s so simple, but it’s really fun to play,” Scheffler said. “No matter the conditions, I’m going to go out there and have a good time just hitting all kinds of weird shots.”
Scheffler has been picking through YouTube, finding clips of previous champions who triumphed at St. Andrews. He is looking for those little tips on how they approached the course while taking heart from how the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo fared at St. Andrews after triumphing at Augusta.
But despite being in an elite group of players to reach the summit of golf’s rankings, Scheffler said he is not feeling the heat at the 150th Open.
“I don’t feel like there’s any more pressure on me,” Scheffler said. “I’m showing up like everybody else trying to come here and play well at a golf tournament.
“Being the home of golf and The Open Championship definitely amplifies things a bit, but that’s across the board. I don’t think it matters if I’m No. 1 in the world or No. 50 in the world — I want to win this tournament as bad or more than anybody out here.”