Scottie Scheffler Makes History, Wins Players Championship & Returns to World No. 1
On Sunday, March 12th, 2023, Scottie Scheffler made history. The Dallas native ran away with the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, winning by five shots over Tyrrell Hatton, who made a run of five consecutive birdies on the back nine. The victory earned Scheffler the $4.5 million first prize and moved him back to the top of the world rankings as he prepares to defend his Masters title next month.
The 26-year-old Scheffler started the final round with a two-shot lead which evaporated on the third hole when he three-putted for bogey and Lee birdied. But five consecutive birdies on the back nine saw him pull away from Hatton and the rest of the field. Scheffler was aided by his short game, which he honed during chipping contests on the back of the range at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.
Scheffler has been one of the top players in the world for the last 13 months, with this victory his sixth in that time. He joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to hold the Masters and Players titles at the same time. Jordan Spieth, who has played with Scheffler at home, said “When I feel like I get the better of him, it's a boost of confidence because he's arguably the best player in the world right now.”
Scheffler’s swing coach, Randy Smith, credits the success to the experience he has gained in the last 13 months. “He’s just got a lot more experience,” said Smith. When you make a living playing out here, various situations arise, and it helps to have a mental library of ideas to draw from in order to find new and different ways to tackle them.
Viktor Hovland and Tom Hoge shared third place at 10 under and Justin Rose finished in the top 10. Scheffler’s clubs included a TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ Driver (8 degrees) with Fujikura Ventus Black 7X shaft, and a TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Black 8X shaft.
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