Scheffler Gratified to Have Family of Cancer-Stricken Friend in Byron Nelson Attendance

TOKC Featured in The Dallas Morning News

SchefflerIRVING — Scottie Scheffler, the Highland Park senior making his PGA Tour debut, met James Ragan of Corpus Christi while playing on the Texas Legends Tour.

Ragan had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in June 2006, when he was 13. He went on to became a public advocate and fundraising force for pediatric cancer.

When Scheffler won the U.S. Junior Amateur last July, he choked up during a Golf Channel interview when asked about Ragan. Scheffler said he thought about his friend several times during the final match.

Ragan died on Feb. 17. He was 20. Last Friday, Sheffler drove down to Corpus with his father, Scott, and sister, Callie, to play in a charity tournament for Ragan in heavy rain.

This week, Ragan’s father, Jim, and sister, Mecklin, drove up from Corpus Christi for the Nelson, where they were joined by a cousin from Fort Worth, Marisol Gongora, and friend Hicks Layton.

They have worn T-shirts with writing on the back. Gongora’s shirt says “Go,” Mecklin’s shirt says “Scottie” and Layton’s shirt says “Go!”

“That was pretty cool,” said Scheffler, who is T38 after rounds of 71-68-69. “They’re usually really busy, doing everything they’re doing.”

Mecklin Ragan said they wanted to show support for Scheffler, just as his family did for them.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much it meant to all of us,” Mecklin said. “We love Scottie. My brother loved him a lot, and it meant so much to have him there with us, especially this year.”

Scott Scheffler said the feeling was mutual:

“James taught Scottie a lot. Like Scottie always says, ‘Golf is just a game.’ James’ dad is one of the most positive people I’ve met in my life.”

Ragan’s website: triumph

Get up, stand up: Morgan Hoffmann has taken a different approach to have fun instead of concentrating solely on complicated swing thoughts.

“Every practice round, I have a Bose speaker in my bag and we have some jams going,’’ he said. “Some pretty weird stuff; it’s very random.”

Hoffmann and his caddie have been on a reggae kick recently. During his 66 on Friday, he was humming “Here Comes the Hotstepper’’ by Jamaican artist Ini Kamoze. “We were singing reggae songs and being as stupid as possible,” Hoffmann said.

After his double-bogey on No. 18 Saturday, Hoffman is T6 entering the final round. Might we suggest the Bob Marley classic “Three Little Birds”?

A D-FW Boo-Boo? Ben Hogan is the only player to sweep the D-FW PGA Tour events in the same year.

Boo Weekley, defending Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial champion, has the chance for a backward D-FW slam. He enters the final round three strokes back after rounds of 67-68-68.

Weekley can at least match Hogan’s order. When Hogan turned the trick in 1946, he won the Colonial in May and then the Dallas Invitational at Brook Hollow Golf Club in late September.

Global conquests: Over the last 13 years, eight international players have won the Nelson: Jesper Parnevik (2000), Shigeki Maruyama (2002), Vijay Singh (2003), Sergio Garcia (2004), Adam Scott (2008), Rory Sabbatini (2009), Jason Day (2010) and Sang-Moon Bae (2013).

Singh, 51, enters the final round at T15 and Sabbatini is T47. Moon missed the cut.