While the calendar still reads winter for a few more days, Scottie Scheffler is hot at this time of year, after winning four times from February to April of 2022, the Texan now has two wins under his belt in the past month in 2023. Here The Players Championship Recap
The latest came on a dominant weekend at The Players Championship that was reminiscent of his run at the Masters last year. Scheffler cruised to victory after a 65 on Saturday gave him a three-shot lead going into the final round. His three-under 69 on Sunday gave him a five-stroke win over Tyrrell Hatton. His 17-under 271 was the second best score of the past 20 years at TPC Sawgrass, with Webb Simpson’s -18 in 2008 the only better performance in that span.
“I wanted to get as big of a lead as I could,” Scheffler said, knowing that things can easily go sideways on the Stadium Course. “I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away as quickly as I could.”
Scheffler, who won $4.5 million of a record $25 million purse for this event, was only one of the “big three” golfers from 2023 playing over the weekend. Rory McIlroy missed the cut, and Jon Rahm withdrew after the first round due to illness. Due to Rahm’s W/D and Scheffler’s win, he regains the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. It’s the fourth time in 2023 that the No. 1 spot has changed hands among these three golfers.
Hatton closed with five-straight birdies, becoming the first player to shoot a 29 on the back nine on Sunday at The Players. His second-place finish was enough for a $2.725 million payday.
Tied for third were Viktor Hovland and Tom Hoge. Hoge nearly missed the cut after shooting a 78 on Thursday but responded with a course-record 62 on Saturday to put himself in contention. He ended up with a 70 on Sunday to finish at -10.
Hideki Matsuyama was in fifth at -9.
The course wasn’t as kind to Min Woo Lee or Taylor Montgomery.
Lee was in second place going into Sunday and tied for the lead after the third hole, but his triple bogey on No. 4 set him back. He ended up carding a 76 and tied for sixth with Max Homa, Justin Suh, Justin Rose, Sungjae Im, Cam Davis, and David Lingmerth.
Montgomery, a PGA Tour rookie, was tied for fourth going into the 15th hole. But after a bogey and double bogey, he hit two balls into the water on the island green 17th and carded a quadruple-bogey 7. He ended up finishing 44th.
The four-week Florida swing concludes with the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook, which is in the Tampa area. Sam Burns will try to become the first player to threepeat at an event since Steve Stricker did so at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11. His primary challengers will be Justin Thomas and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who each scored top-five finishes in this tournament a year ago.