OAKMONT, Pa. -- Scottie Scheffler had some worries on his mind last night after becoming only the third amateur in U.S. Open history to shoot a round in the 60s in the rain-soaked first round at Oakmont, but they weren't about golf. He was worried about his sister's internship.
Scheffler's 1-under 69 made him the leader in the clubhouse yesterday because only nine of the field of 156 golfers ever reached the clubhouse after play was suspended three times for rain delays that left half the field never teeing off. Such incessant stoppages and inclement conditions made life difficult for everyone. But when you're 19 and playing at the U.S. Open with your sister on your bag, the only thing you really have to worry about is her job.
"There was a lot that we had to go through today with the weather and everything, the stop and go and trying to stay loose and stuff like that, so it was very important to me (to have his sister caddying)," Scheffler said. "I'm glad she was able to get the week off to come help me out. She's a week into an internship, and she's already asking for a week off. Hopefully she doesn't get in trouble."
That seems as unlikely as her brother's performance yesterday. The Schefflers, you see, are a golfing family, Scottie entering his third year on Texas' golf team while Callie is a senior member of the women's golf team at Texas A&M. Even her internship has a golf link as it turns out, and that link provided more name recognition to the company she's working for on one rainy afternoon than it might have otherwise earned all summer.
"She's interning for WorldLink," the teen-age U.S. Open leader explained. "The only way I know it, it's another college golfer's dad that she's working for. I think that was the big reason why she was able to get off work today. She's pursuing a graduate degree in marketing right now, so she's got a year to finish that up at A&M and a year left in college golf."
How many days her brother has left at his first U.S. Open is difficult to know, but if he can put together a second round like his first it will last more days than he might have expected.
Playing with calm control and putting with confidence, Scheffler was one of only seven golfers under par when play was halted. Andrew Landry, an obscure professional ranked 624th in the world, was atop the leaderboard at 3-under but wasn't able to stroke in a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole before play was suspended, something he seems likely to do in today's early-morning hours, so technically Scheffler was the first-round leader when night fell.
What Scheffler will be doing today is not golfing, because it's unlikely there will be enough time for him to tee off in the second wave of the second round as scheduled with half the first round yet to begin. Where that leaves him remains to be seen but angst ridden didn't seem likely.
"I hope we'll be able to get in 18 tomorrow," he said. "(Someone) is shaking his head no. So we're not going to get in 18 tomorrow. That will be another adjustment for us. I don't know if we'll be teeing off at 7 at night or we'll be starting out at 6:30 in the morning.
"I was just excited to get done on 18. 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.
"Honestly, I really wanted to watch the basketball game tonight. I wanted to get done so I could stay up late to watch that."
When you're 19 and leading the U.S. Open, that's what's on your mind. Not winning a major or making golf history. What's on your mind is your sister's internship and the Cavaliers-Warriors game. That's the innocence -- and the comfort -- of youth.
"The experience ... I can't even describe it right now, but I didn't really let the magnitude of what's going on kind of get to me," Scheffler said. "I'm glad we got here a little early this week to kind of get used to everything, because this is something I've never experienced before.
"There's a lot more stuff going on than what I'm used to at an amateur tournament. We've got courtesy cars and security and a bunch of people around. The people don't really bother me. It's just the other stuff that kind of goes on. It doesn't bother me, it's just something I'm not used to, like how we're going to get to the course tomorrow is going to be a struggle because we've got to dodge thousands of fans. That's something I've got to figure out when I'm done here."
As he answered questions about the magnitude of playing in the Open, Scheffler's proud parents stood in the background. They were beaming in the way any parent would as they watched not only their son but also their daughter being interviewed about their unexpected U.S. Open star turn.
Each spoke not only about the kind of day you dream of when you're young and all things are possible, but as if there was really nothing shocking about it. It was, after all, just golf.
"Once we got on the course, I was fine," he said. "She's caddied for me in a couple of pro events before so we both kind of knew the drill. Definitely the preparation between those events and coming into this one really helped to get everything settled in.
"The atmosphere around here is a little different than what we're used to, but having the experience behind us in the other two events was really helpful, especially with her caddying. She knows how to caddie out here. It's very different than any other place. I don't think we got in any trouble today, which is a good start."
Callie the Caddie didn't and neither did Scottie the U.S. Open leader. They avoided trouble, which is what must be done to survive Oakmont. Then they went to watch basketball and waited to see what happens next.
This article was written by Ron Borges from Boston Herald and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.