Amateur Leading U.S. Open Rushed Putt to Watch NBA Finals

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A teenager competing at the U.S. Open says he rushed a putt in order to ensure that he could watch the NBA Finals.

A looming weather stoppage might have meant an early round of golf Friday morning, and no late viewing of the NBA Finals Thursday night, so Scottie Scheffler accelerated his play.

“I was excited to get done on 18,” Scheffler told reporters following the round. “I tapped in like a 2 1/2-footer kind of quickly, which maybe wasn’t the smartest idea. I wanted our group to get done so we didn’t have to come back in the morning because we were up at 4 a.m. this morning.”

If he sounds like an amateur, that’s because he is. He’s 19, his sister caddies for him, and he obviously likes to watch basketball. He’s also an amazing prospect that frequently draws comparison to fellow Texan Jordan Spieth.

Just nine players, including Scheffler, finished their opening rounds on Thursday because of the rain. Scheffler completed the notoriously tough 18 holes at Oakmont with a one-under-par 69. That makes the rising junior at the University of Texas the unlikely man (boy?) atop the leaderboard.

“Some rest would be good tonight, and honestly, I really wanted to watch the basketball game tonight,” he told reporters. “I wanted to get done so I could stay up late to watch that.”

Scheffler watched the Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Golden State Warriors behind another dominating 41-point effort by LeBron James. But he didn’t really care who won or lost.

“I don’t have pull on either team,” he explained at Oakmont. “I love the NBA, so I just want to watch.”


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