Scottie Scheffler successfully defended his WM Phoenix Open title by claiming a two-shot victory, a win that has placed him back at the summit of the World Golf Rankings.
The 26-year-old held off competition from Canadian Nick Taylor and Spaniard Jon Rahm to finish on 19-under after the final round, which included four birdies and a eagle, to secure his fifth career PGA TOUR win at TPC Scottsdale.
Scheffler’s triumph means that he is now the third player to successfully defend a PGA TOUR title this season and seventh player defend his title in Phoenix, leaping above Rory McIlroy, who finished in joint-32nd on four under, in the World Gold Rankings.
Scheffler began the final round with a two-shot lead but that was quickly halved as both Taylor and Rahm made birdies at the first. But Scheffler responded with birdies on the second and third holes to restore his two shot advantage while Rahm, who was searching for his third PGA TOUR victory, failed to materialise a significant challenge after he bogyed at eight.
Scheffler and Taylor were both tied with six holes remaining but the American stepped up a gear draining an eagle putt on the 13th and holing a crucial 15-foot putt on the par-three 16th. A par on the final hole cemented victory for the American.
“I’m just proud with how I fought today,” Scheffler said speaking to CBS. “I didn’t have my best stuff, but I grinded it out. I wasn’t hitting it good off tee, my irons didn’t feel as sharp, but I played a great round of golf today.
“I started to build some momentum early today and saw some putts go in, so I’m really grateful with the result. It [returning to world No 1] feels pretty good!”
The next event on the PGA TOUR is the Genesis Invitational which takes places in California between 16th – 19th February.