Golfer makes a swift recovery after career halting injury


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

Sophomore Lucas Scheufler hits off the tee at hole one on Oct. 11 at the Grier Jones Shocker Invatational. Scheufler finished tenth place (72-71-74–217, +4).

Sophomore golfer Lucas Scheufler never thought he would be required to get surgery after completely shattering and tearing several ligaments in his ankle after injuring it in a car crash. 

On June 20, one week after the car wreck, Scheufler had two nails put into the left side of his ankle and a wire on the right side. 

“I will have those for the rest of my life, but the wire helps it gain flexibility that it didn’t have before so I’m able to do more movements and I’m able to jump better because there’s not much stiffness or tightness,” Scheufler said

Performance and swing coach Seth Bryan was upset after hearing of the severity of Scheufler’s injury.

“Luke and I have been working together for quite a while and it was a little disappointing when I heard the severity of the accident,” Bryan said. “It was just such a bad break and he was doing some incredible work before his injury… It was just tough to watch because I obviously care about him as a kid too.”

Fifth-year golfer Dawson Lewis was worried about what a team without Scheufler could look like. 

“I was pretty bummed out, honestly,” said Lewis. “He’s one of our better players, very talented, and highly skilled. And that was a big hit for us. You know, my initial instinct was like, holy crap. He’s going to be out for at least, you know, all the fall and that was gonna hurt our team but he’s come back way faster than I or anybody else expected him to.”

While this injury typically has a four to six-month recovery time, Scheufler was back to golfing after a two-month recovery. Coaches, teammates and Scheufler were anxious about the quick turnaround. 

“Anxious is probably a good way to phrase it,” Bryan said. “I think it’s really tough because I not only have to take into consideration his golf swing. I’m also going to have to be very aware of how he operates. He’s such a go-getter, and he’s so determined on getting better. I was more worried about him overdoing his rehab process, coming back a little too early or pushing the envelope too much.”

Scheufler had reservations about returning to the sport he loves.

“Obviously it feels great to be back but I’m nervous as well, because I’m like, ‘Am I ready?’” Scheufler said. “I mean I’m so excited and just also shocked. If you would have told me a month ago that I’d be golfing I wouldn’t have believed you. I mean I was sitting on my couch not even being able to walk and then a month later I’m competing with everybody on the team and scoring well.”

Scheufler said his injury helped mature his short game.

“My perspective has changed,” Scheufler said. “My putting and chipping have gotten a lot better and my feel has gotten a lot better as well. So that’s improved a tremendous amount…I can see the differences in my ball striking, being able to get back into the same body movements that it was before pre-injury but that just takes time, and honestly having a feel on the short game is the biggest thing that helped me my scoring. Maybe I’m not hitting as good but I’m scoring better.”

One thing that shined through Scheufler’s injury was his drive and passion for golf.

“Luke, you know, he’s got so much dedication and drive,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t need much pushing like other people do. Even with nobody in his corner, he’s just that much of a competitor that he’s gonna do whatever it is he wants to do, and that’s play golf.”

Scheufler said he has a new perspective going into the remainder of this season. 

“If you have a bad hole or a bad round at the end of the day, it doesn’t define who you are and who you are as a golfer,” said Scheufler “I just want to continue to improve. Getting my game back and more consistent but also just being able to compete with my teammates.”