By: Dylan Dethier

Scottie Scheffler news - Figure 1

May 18, 2024

Scottie Scheffler's fill-in caddie Brad Payne at the PGA Championship.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — At the beginning of PGA Championship week, the biggest question around Scottie Scheffler was how he’d handle his first tournament as a new father.

That feels like ancient history.

So, too, does the surreal start to his championship. When he holed out from 167 yards for eagle on the opening par-4 it seemed like surely that would be the craziest thing he’d do at Valhalla.

But then came the incident that Scheffler later called a “big misunderstanding.” The arrest. The trip to jail. The trip back. The shocking 66. (More on all of that here.)

“I definitely never imagined ever going to jail, and I definitely never imagined going to jail the morning before one of my tee times,” Scheffler said.

For Saturday’s third round he’ll get back to the simple task of trying to beat the best golfers on the planet in one of the biggest events on the calendar. He’s in prime position — 9 under par, T4 and three shots off the lead — but his third round will feature an interesting wrinkle, too: a backup caddie. And for a good reason.

Scheffler’s typical looper Ted Scott flew home after Saturday’s round to attend his daughter’s high school graduation.

“That’s something we talked about from the beginning of our relationship was family always comes first, and it’s the same thing for me as it is for my caddie. It was a pretty easy decision. He told me at the beginning of this year that that was the date that it was, so I got a backup caddie lined up.”

That backup caddie? PGA Tour chaplain Brad Payne.

“It’s one of my older friends who travels week to week out here,” Scheffler said. “I trust him to rake a bunker more than my buddies.”

Payne knows his way around a golf course. He played collegiate golf at Pepperdine, where he earned three-time All-WCC honors. He has also previously caddied on Tour for Paul Stankowski.

Payne also joined Scheffler during his hurried warmup on Friday after Scheffler had made the mad dash from jail.

“My team, I leaned on them pretty heavily this morning to get me into the right frame of mind to where I could go out and play,” Scheffler said.

It’s been a season of contingency plans for Scheffler. He played the Masters and the RBC Heritage with one eye towards home, ready to leave should his wife Meredith, who was nearing her due date, go into labor.

As for Scheffler and Scott? They’ve enjoyed an incredible run of success. Before they teamed up in 2022 Scheffler was a good player but hadn’t yet won on the PGA Tour. Since then? Scheffler has racked up 10 victories — including two Masters titles — on his march to World No. 1.

The pair enter the PGA Championship having won four of their last five starts.

Latest In News

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.

Related Articles