GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – Scottie Scheffler added a green jacket to his wardrobe this year, but he’s wearing something slightly more casual on this Wednesday evening. A Dunder-Mifflin Paper Co. T-shirt and sweatpants cover the thick, 6-foot-3 frame of this former high-school basketball player as he sprawls out on a couch in a rented home in the Memphis suburbs, recovering after a long day in the summer heat at the end of a long year.
Sam Burns and his wife, Caroline, walk in the front door carrying plastic bags filled with the barbecue that this area is famous for, and soon the dining room table is obscured by enough red meat to give a cardiologist chest pains. The next day, Scottie and Sam will tee off in the headlining group of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, but tonight they feast.
Scheffler and his wife, Meredith, sit at the table alongside the Burnses and Brad Payne, the president of College Golf Fellowship and one of the leaders of the TOUR’s Bible study. Plates are filled with brisket, ribs and macaroni and cheese. Sarcastic barbs are exchanged, existential matters discussed. The conversation shifts at whiplash speed between the mundane and the profound.
The scene feels exceedingly normal considering two of the participants are among the best golfers in the world. Professional golfers, they’re just like us.
The desire for normalcy is a fundamental part of the relationship between Scottie and Sam, one that’s been mentioned on television broadcasts and in articles throughout the year as the two 26-year-olds have continued to win – seven tournaments combined and counting this season.
It’s easy to forget that the two friends, promising prospects since their amateur days, began this season with one TOUR title between them. So much has happened, so fast. Burns has cracked the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time and Scheffler reached No. 1. They were the top two players in the FedExCup for much of the season, as well.
“When we get home every night, we are with our wives doing the exact same thing we did a year ago,” says Scottie. “If we are 100th in the FedExCup next year, it’s going to be the same. I harp on that a lot; we don’t want our lives to change a lot off the course. (Staying with the Burnses) is such an easy reminder. If my head actually gets too big, he will be the first to say, ‘You’re being a real jackwagon.’”
To which Sam quickly replies, “I would love to.” His smile shows the pleasure he would take in putting the Masters champion in his place. Both couples enjoy a simple existence, even as they’ve earned millions of dollars. Scottie famously drives a decade-old SUV and the Burnses still live in the small Louisiana town of Choudrant, which had less than 1,000 residents and no Chipotles as of 2020.