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Scottie Scheffler flies to The Masters, but will leave the tournament ‘at a moment’s notice’ as woman goes into labor

As it stands, it almost feels like nothing can stop Scottie Scheffler from capturing his second Masters crown – yet the world No. 1 may have a date with a destiny that extends beyond Augusta National.

The American lived up to his reputation as a pre-tournament favorite at the 88th edition of the Major, shooting a bogey-free opening round to move within a stroke of leading Bryson DeChambeau.

It leaves the 27-year-old poised to earn a new green jacket and a third title in just over a month, but 2022 champion Scheffler will exit the tournament “in the blink of an eye” – even if he is in the lead – should his wife Meredith is about to give birth.

The high school seniors, who married in 2020, aren’t expecting their first child for a few weeks, but Scheffler reiterated his pre-tournament promise that he would “be out of here” if the birth happened sooner than expected.

“I think the first child wins… about a lot of things in my life,” Scheffler told broadcasters during the par three match on the eve of the tournament, where his sister Sara was officiating for him while his wife was absent from the family-oriented competition.

Speaking on Thursday after his first-round six-under 66 – his best-ever Masters round in his fifth start – Scheffler was asked if he was concerned if there was a scenario in which he would have to bow out of the tournament.

‘Maybe I should be more concerned. I don’t really know,” Scheffler replied with a laugh.

“People have asked us how we are preparing for the baby. I feel like we’re a little underprepared. The nursery isn’t quite ready yet and we’ve had some problems at our house over the past few weeks. I think that’s the exciting part. I think we are absolutely unprepared to be parents.

‘As for the birth, I wouldn’t say I’m very worried. We haven’t seen any first signals yet. But pregnancy is weird. It can happen at any time. Yes, open lines of communication and she can reach me if needed.

“I’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice.”

The couple celebrated Scheffler's triumph at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.  -Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesThe couple celebrated Scheffler's triumph at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.  -Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The couple celebrated Scheffler’s triumph at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. -Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After a stellar 2023 campaign that saw him retain the PGA Tour Player of the Year title, Scheffler has only consolidated his status as a dominant force in men’s golf this season. Just a week after a dominant victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, he mounted a stunning late charge to become the first player to ever defend The Players Championship.

Following his historic victory, Scheffler gave special praise to his support system back home in Dallas.

“I have a wonderful wife, and if I took my trophies and put them all over the house and walked around everywhere, I think she would hit me on the side of the head and say I got over myself pretty quickly had to come. Scheffler told reporters.

“Winning golf tournaments doesn’t get me any points at home, so I just try to do my best.”

Scheffler tees off for his second round at 1:48 PM ET (6:48 PM BST) alongside playing partners Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy.

Scheffler kisses his wife Meredith after winning his first major title at Augusta National in 2021. - David J. Phillip/APScheffler kisses his wife Meredith after winning his first major title at Augusta National in 2021. - David J. Phillip/AP

Scheffler kisses his wife Meredith after winning his first major title at Augusta National in 2021. – David J. Phillip/AP

Burns joins Scheffler on baby watch

Scheffler isn’t the only player on baby alert – that includes friend and this week’s roommate, Sam Burns.

Burns’ wife Caroline, ranked number 22 in the world, has an even earlier due date, with the five-time PGA Tour winner admitting ahead of his third Masters start that he hoped he would not arrive until after the green jacket had been awarded.

“It’s definitely been difficult. I miss Caroline, I wish she was here, but it was fun too,” Burns, 27, told reporters on Wednesday.

“I know she wants me here, so hopefully no baby this week. Hopefully he will stay there until after Sunday.”

Burns is also expecting a child soon.  -Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesBurns is also expecting a child soon.  -Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Burns is also expecting a child soon. -Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It might not matter. Burns shot three double bogeys en route to an opening eight-over 80 – just two shots better than the field’s worst score – leaving him with a mountain to climb to survive the cut and make it through the weekend.

Impending births have left their mark on major championships before. Phil Mickelson’s caddy, Jim Mackay, carried a beeper around all 72 holes of the 1999 US Open in case the golfer’s wife, Amy, went into labor.

Mickelson painfully finished one stroke behind fellow countryman Payne Stewart, who consoled his rival on the 18th green by telling him, “There’s nothing like being a dad.”

A day later, Mickelson – who shot and killed 73 on Thursday – stood next to his wife as she gave birth to their first child.

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