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Scottie Scheffler won his second green jacket in three years Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club by capturing the 2024 Masters by four strokes over Ludvig Åberg. To the naked eye, it appeared to be business as usual for the top-ranked player in the game; it was anything but.

Scheffler's wife, Meredith, who is by his side at every tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, is due to give birth to the couple's first child any week now. As such, she chose to forgo traveling to Augusta, Georgia, for the first major championship of the year. 

While it did not ultimately factor, Scheffler repeatedly stated throughout the week that he would withdraw from the Masters if called upon by his wife to return for the birth of their child.

Meredith's absence was particularly noteworthy given the context of Scheffler's 2022 Masters victory. The 27-year-old revealed after capturing the first of his now-two green jackets that Meredith calmed him while overcome by emotion the morning of his final round that year. While the two connected throughout the week digitally, Scottie was without the presence of his rock.

"The Sunday morning was definitely different," Scheffler said. "Instead of just me and Mer at the house, I just had a couple of my buddies with me, and we sat and relaxed. Tried not to think about golf, but it was increasingly difficult. They were a great support for me this morning. And, yeah, it was a long morning, but it was well worth it."

It is not particularly common for players' spouses to travel with them to every tournament, but Scottie and Meredith have proven to be a power couple over the last handful of years on the PGA Tour. Whenever Scheffler wins a trophy, which he does quite often these days, it is not hardware that is the first item in his arms but rather his wife.

He speaks about Meredith's importance to his mindset and preparation every week. She keeps him grounded and is always there for him as his biggest supporter. While she was not physically at the Masters this week, Meredith was able to speak with Scottie before his final round.

"She just asked me if she could pray for me," he explained. "And I actually wasn't able to talk to her very long this morning, which was unusual. She sent a lot of prayers. My neck was bugging me a little bit. Just prayed for some healing and prayed for a lot of peace out there. 

"I had a good conversation with my buddies this morning about the victory and that victory already being secure. So, yeah, it was -- it was a longer morning, again, than anticipated this year, but I would say it wasn't as long as it was a couple years ago, but still a long morning."

Scheffler's next test will not be on a golf course, though he is currently in the field for next week's RBC Heritage and intimated that he planned to play. Rather, his focus has shifted to becoming a father with the couple soon prepared to welcome their first child to the world.

"When you get married, a lot of people tend to make jokes about like, 'Oh, your life is over!'" Scheffler said. "My friends were always very excited for me to get married, but you get some people offhand just making jokes and stuff like that. 

"When it comes to having a kid, every single person says that it changes your life, and it's the most special thing in the world. So, I cannot -- marriage has been such a tremendous aspect of my life, I cannot even imagine what being a parent is going to be like."

One thing is for sure: $3.6 million buys a lot of diapers.