Scottie Scheffler is the No. 1 golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings, but Viktor Hovland had been getting all of the headlines since beating Scheffler in a playoff at the BMW Championship and winning the FedEx Cup. Check out the Hero World Challenge 2023 Recap!
Viktor Hovland was also the two-time defending champion of the Hero World Challenge, but Scheffler took a five-stroke lead into the final round of the all-star event in the Bahamas on Sunday and had no trouble, cruising to a three-shot win after firing a four-under 68.
“I played solid and kept my distance,” Scheffler said. “I was just trying to hit good shots and get as many looks as I could for birdies.”
While the win doesn’t count toward his official tally of six PGA Tour wins, it does allow the Texan to end the year on a high note and extend his lead in the OWGR.
Scheffler dominated most of the statistics in the 2022-23 season—with the exception of putting. After the PGA Tour championship, he began working with putting coach Phil Kenyon and said that the results are already paying off.
“It’s nice to see some fast results,” said Scheffler, who was runner-up to Hovland in both the 2021 and ’22 Hero World Challenge. “It’s paid off pretty good this week.”
Sepp Straka, who was one of our longshot picks this week, fired a final-round 64 to charge up to second in the final leaderboard, finishing three shots behind Scheffler’s 20-under 268.
Justin Thomas continued his much-improved play after missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career by finishing third. First-round leader Tony Finau tied for fourth with Matt Fitzpatrick at -15.
In sixth was Jordan Spieth, followed by Collin Morikawa, who would’ve finished tied for sixth if it wasn’t for a two-stroke penalty he was assessed for using green-reading materials. His caddie used a level to measure the slope of the practice green, and Morikawa wrote down the formula and referred to it when playing the fourth green on Saturday. The rules allow the player to calculate the formula, but they cannot refer to it in their yardage book.
Tiger Woods did not contend for the win in his return to pro golf after undergoing surgery on his ankle after the Masters in April, but he finished at even par after shooting par (72) on Sunday. He wound up 18th in the 20-man field but did recover from a 3-over 75 on the first day to finish the tournament on the number.
“I feel like my game’s not that far off, but I need to get in better shape,” he said Sunday
Woods will play again in two weeks, when he partners with son Charlie at the PNC Championship event in Orlando, Florida.
The PGA Tour’s exhibition season continues next week with the Grant Thornton Invitational. This event will mark the first mixed doubles event since the JC Penney Classic wrapped up in 1999. The tournament is a 54-hole event that begins Friday from the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
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