2013 Review: Inspired Scheffler Wins U.S. Junior Amateur

December 20, 2013

The USGA added 13 players to its roster of national champions in 2013, but some of our favorite stories of the year weren’t necessarily about the winning putt or the turning point in a match. This is the fourth in a six-part series that reviews some of the compelling stories that you might have missed in our 2013 championship coverage.
After winning the U.S. Junior Amateur, Scheffler (hugging sister Molly) was interviewed by Golf Channel's Steve Burkowski and choked up when talking about his cancer-stricken friend back in Texas. (USGA/Steve Gibbons)

Scottie Scheffler’s eyes welled with tears and he struggled to get the words out.

Moments earlier, the 17-year-old Texan had been handed the large silver cup as the new U.S. Junior Amateur champion. But the 3-and-2 final-match victory over Davis Riley at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif., in which he overcame a late 2-hole deficit, wasn’t the sole cause of this outpouring of emotion.

2013 Review: In Case You Missed It
Senior Open Fans Rally Around Peter Horrobin
Players Connect with Native American Heritage at WAPL
Zack Fischer Goes OT at U.S. Open Sectionals

As a national audience looked on, Golf Channel reporter Steve Burkowski finished his on-camera interview with the new champion by asking Scheffler about James Ragan, his 20-year-old friend back in Houston.

Seven years ago Ragan, who competed with Scheffler on the Texas Legends Tour, had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Since the two met on the golf course five years ago, Scheffler has constantly remained in touch through phone calls, texts and emails. When Ragan founded a charity, Triumph Over Kids Cancer in 2007, Scheffler actively supported the initiative by constantly talking up the website (www.triumphoverkidscancer.org) and participating in a charity golf event.

“It likely won’t save James’ life, but it will save many other kids,” said Scheffler after his quarterfinal victory over P.J. Samiere. “He has a chance. Not a great chance, but he’s a fighter.”

Scheffler showed resilience in winning his first major junior title. After a series of runner-up finishes leading into the Junior Amateur, he finally broke through at Martis Camp, a run that included a gritty 19-hole, third-round win over Justin Suh and a 1-up second-round triumph over 2012 Junior Amateur quarterfinalist Maverick McNealy. Scheffler plans to play golf at the University of Texas next fall.

Scheffler, who won the Junior Amateur in his fourth and final year of eligibility, showed where his thoughts were by telling Golf Channel he was thinking about Ragan even as he was hoisting the Junior Amateur Trophy.

In May, Scheffler lost a close family friend, former PGA Tour player Warren Aune, to cancer at the age of 58.

Inspiration can be derived from many places. Scheffler found it in two individuals whose fight was far bigger than his own.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image