The howling winds of TPC Sawgrass bow only to Scottie Scheffler. Scheffler won his first Players Championship in decisive fashion on Sunday, finishing seventeen under for the tournament. Scheffler won by five strokes over Tyrrell Hatton with a final round of 69.
The Texas native got off to a slightly shaky start in the round, bogeying the third hole. Hatton, Min Woo Lee and Hideki Matsuyama were all in striking distance early, only trailing Scheffler by a couple shots.
Scheffler caught fire however towards the end of the front nine, birdying five consecutive holes from the eighth to the twelfth. Scheffler was able to conquer the treacherous seventeenth island green. The second-year pro took a deep breath after seeing his ball land on the putting surface and thankfully not swimming in the drink.
The seventeenth hole claimed many victims today with sharp gusts knocking the ball down into the water and making flight to the green unpredictable. Scheffler played the eighteenth conservatively and finished the round with a par to the sound of cheers and applause.
This is Scheffler’s second victory on the PGA Tour this year, taking the WM Phoenix Open in February and besting Patrick Cantlay in a three-hole playoff. Scheffler rose a spot in the Fedex Cup Standings to third in the rankings and returns to the number-one spot in the OWGR. This was an encouraging bounce-back performance after a disappointing finish last week in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Scheffler will be taking a break this coming week and won’t be competing in the Valspar Championship which may be a sigh of relief for the rest of the field. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Keegan Bradley, Matt Fitzpatrick and Sam Burns will all be competing in what will be a lighter field at the Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida. This will be a tremendous opportunity for any new tour members or down on their luck golfers looking to gain entry into some of the more lucrative designated events later in the year.