Scottie Scheffler arrives at Genesis Invitational after making Texas proud

Scottie Scheffler shouts as he celebrates a birdie putt.
Scottie Scheffler shouts as he celebrates his birdie putt on the third playoff hole during the final round of the Phoenix Open on Sunday.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)
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Matthew Stafford wasn’t the only Highland Park (Texas) High graduate to make his alma mater proud Sunday.

While Stafford, a 2006 graduate of the suburban Dallas school and a football teammate of Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, was leading the Rams to a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, Scottie Scheffler, Highland Park class of 2013, was winning his first PGA Tour event in Arizona.

Scheffler, 25, drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to defeat Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Cantlay in the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale for his first win in 71 PGA Tour starts.


“Yeah, it was great, a lot of people in Dallas were pretty happy,” Scheffler said Tuesday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, where he is preparing for this week’s Genesis Invitational. “So definitely a great Sunday for most of us.”

Scheffler said he has never met Stafford, who completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns against the Bengals, or Kershaw, who was on hand in SoFi Stadium to cheer on Stafford. Kershaw was Stafford’s center on the freshman football team at Highland Park.

“But I think Clayton and I have a charity deal next week at home,” he said, “so I’ll probably meet him then.”

Max Homa, who graduated from Valencia High in Santa Clarita, beats Tony Finau in a playoff to win the Genesis Invitational for his second PGA Tour title.

Feb. 21, 2021

If Stafford remains in town after Wednesday’s victory parade, he can cheer on his fellow Highland Park alum at famed Riviera, which will welcome back fans Thursday through Sunday after the coronavirus eliminated galleries for the 2021 event.

The 96th edition of the tournament will be the first of the 2021-2022 PGA Tour to feature all of the top-10 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking — Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Scheffler and Hideki Matsuyama.

Morikawa, who has won two majors — the PGA Championship in 2020 and the British Open in 2021 — and Cantlay, who has won six PGA Tour events, are from Southern California. Morikawa attended La Canada High and Cal while Cantlay went to Anaheim Servite High and UCLA.


“It’s a tournament I went to growing up as a little kid with my dad and my grandpa and then played the NCAAs here during my last year in college,” Cantlay, 29, said Tuesday. “It’s a golf course that I think is one of the best, if not the best, on tour, so I love being here this week.”

Morikawa, 25, did not grow up attending PGA events at Riviera but fell in love with the picturesque course while playing the U.S. Amateur here in 2017. Though he has finished tied for 26th and 43rd in his only two Genesis starts, he could gain an advantage playing so close to home.

“I saw my parents, hung out with them,” said Morikawa, who is fully recovered from a December bout with COVID-19. “It’s always comfortable to go back to where you know everything and it’s just very comfortable. I have all my food spots here, my favorite restaurants … I’m glad to be back here and ready to play.”