[PHOTO: Maddie Meyer/PGA of America]

Scottie Scheffler is the prohibitive Masters favourite, entering Augusta National with two wins and a runner-up in his past three starts. But those picking Scheffler to don the green jacket a second time should be careful that the big Texan may not be here this weekend, and by choice.

Scheffler’s wife Meredith is pregnant, as the couple is expecting their first child by the end of the month. Also expecting are Sam and Caroline Burns, with their due date in just more than a week. The upcoming births have Scottie and Sam keeping one eye towards home, and as Golf Channel reported on Monday night (US time), both men have vowed to withdraw from the tournament should their wives go into labour.

“It’s going to be pretty wild. I don’t think it’s hit either of us quite yet, but it’s an exciting time for us as a family,” Scheffler said earlier this year. “It’s been a pretty exciting past seven months or so and we’re looking forward to hopefully getting the baby out of there nice and healthy and with a healthy momma, and then we’ll go from there.”

Scheffler won the Masters in 2022 and was T-10 last year. Burns’ best Masters finish is a T-29, although he comes into Augusta ranked 22nd in strokes gained on tour this season. The two are believed to be staying together this week in Augusta.

Scheffler and Burns are far from the first players to compete with expecting wives. Phil Mickelson famously carried a pager around Pinehurst during the final round of the 1999 US Open should his wife enter labour. Mickelson ultimately came second to Payne Stewart and Amy Mickelson gave birth the next day.