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Scottie Scheffler has won the 2023 Players Championship by five shots after four days of sensational golf at TPC Sawgrass. The 26-year-old made his move on Saturday and never looked back, leaving the rest of the field in his wake as he won his second PGA Tour victory of the season and returned to the top of the world rankings.
Finishing with a score of -17, thanks to a final round of 69, Scheffler also takes home $4.5m in prize money. The American didn’t shoot a single score in the 70s over four days of action in Florida and was more than deserving of his triumph.
In second place was Tyrell Hatton, who shot up 24 places on Sunday thanks to a final round of 65. The Englishman was in the clubhouse on -12 while Scheffler was still on the front 9 with a score of -14. However, seemingly immune to pressure, he dealt with the back nine with remarkable ease and ended up winning by five shots.
Scheffler’s playing partner for the day, Min Woo Lee, started the day just shots adrift of the eventual winner but appeared to struggle with the pressures that come with playing in the final group of such a prestigious event. The Australian will be disappointed with his final round of 76 but the talented 24-year-old will almost certainly come again.
Taking off after a slow start
Although he ended up winning by five shots, it wasn’t a precession from the off on Sunday. After three holes, he found himself in a share for the lead with Lee after the Australian picked up a shot on the first and he dropped one on the third.
Unfortunately for Lee, the reality of the situation may have hit home at that point as the fourth was a complete disaster. After finding thick rough with his tee shot he then found water and ended up with a triple bogey. Scheffler parred it and all of a sudden, there was a three-shot gap at the top of the leaderboard and that was effectively that.
The highlight of Scheffler’s round was a chip-in on the eighth hole to for birdie. He missed the green with his tee shot but also managed to narrowly avoid the green-side bunker. Taking advantage of this stroke of good fortune he struck a delightful little chip which ran all the way into the hole.
Timely chip-in for Scheffler, who gets his lead back to three!pic.twitter.com/XWnXc4ZjcX
— Golf Monthly (@GolfMonthly) March 12, 2023
Experience is invaluable
Speaking afterwards, Scheffler told reporters that he isn’t done yet, citing the importance of previous experiences he’s had on the PGA Tour:
“I’m just hoping to improve. I’m just trying to get a little bit better at a time, not overthink things and fortunately, I’ve been able to see some good results and enjoy some wins. I think I’m just comfortable with where my game is. I feel like I’m improving. I’m definitely learning more and more the more I get into contention. I would say I maybe am a bit more comfortable knowing what I need to do.
I get excited for a good hard test. I feel like I can find a way to make pars and hang in there. I like the challenge of harder golf courses. This tournament feels like a major championship to me.”
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