Scottie Scheffler produced a commanding performance at TPC Sawgrass with a five-shot victory at THE PLAYERS Championship, returning to the top of the world rankings.
The American entered the final day of the PGA TOUR’s flagship event with a two-shot lead and remained at the top of the leaderboard for the rest of the day after he sunk five consecutive birdies to pull away from the chasing pack.
Scheffler closed with a three-under 69 to finish on 17-under and collect the $4.5m (£3.7m) prize and secure his sixth win on the PGA TOUR in 13 months.
Scheffler will overtake Jon Rahm on the OWGR after the Spaniard pulled out from the tournament in the first round due to illness.
“I did a really good job of staying patient and not trying to force things [early on] and then I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away,” said the Texan.
“The final stretch is tough, especially with how windy it was getting. The shots on 17 were challenging and I made a great par on 18. I’m relieved and tired.”
This victory means that Scheffler joins Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only three players to have ever held The Players and Masters titles at the same time.
Scheffler’s closest challenger, England’s Tyrrell Hatton, finished on 12-under after hitting five consecutive birdies himself, which helped him jump up the leaderboard by 24 places.
“I was tied 26th going out, so me playing the back nine compared to the leaders is a different kind of pressure. Going out you don’t feel you have a chance,” he said on Sky Sports.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t [want to climb as high as possible]. It wasn’t as much to get close to Scottie, it was more a goal of mine to try and finish with as many birdies as possible. I gave myself some great chances and the putter cooperated.”
Norway’s Viktor Hovland and America’s Tom Hoge tied for third on 10-under while 2021 Masters winner, Hideki Matsuyama, completed the top five.
The next event on the PGA TOUR is the Valspar Championship which will take place at the Copperhead Course in Florida between 16 – 19 March.