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Tournament Highlights – The Players Championship 2023

Tournament Highlights - The Players Championship 2023
(UPI/Alamy)

Discover all the key details about the 2023 PLAYERS Championship, with essential details on Scottie Scheffler’s victorious performance

Location

TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Yardage

7,275; par 72

Tournament Record

264 – Greg Norman (1994)

Purse

$25 million (2022)

Tournament Insight

THE PLAYERS is the championship run by the PGA TOUR, with the highest prize money of any Tour event. The field consists of the top 125 players from the previous year’s FedExCup points list, plus various other categories including winners of majors and other big tournaments in recent years, the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking, and top performers in the current season.

The tournament has been held at TPC Sawgrass since 1982 and has been held in March since 2019 after being played in May from 2007-18.

Course Insight

Pete Dye designed the Stadium Course in 1980 specifically to host THE PLAYERS Championship. Viewing stands enhance the spectator experience, while the course is dotted with water hazards and sandy waste areas designed to provide strategic choices for the pros while testing a broad range of skills. The finishing stretch of Nos. 16, 17, and 18 is perhaps the most famous in golf and with its risk/reward features is a fitting stage for tournament drama. The 16th is a reachable par 5 with a pond to the right of the green adding an element of danger, the 17th is a short par 3 with an island green, and the 18th is a demanding par 4 wrapping around a pond to the left.

The course was renovated in 2006-7, and a new clubhouse built at that time. There was another renovation in 2016-17, with the main change at the 12th hole. A severe dogleg was eliminated to make it a drivable par 4 that can be set up at 305 to 370 yards.

How Scottie Scheffler won in 2023

As he played the eighth hole of the final round of the 2023 event, Scottie Scheffler was 1-over on the day and still nursing the two-stroke lead that he held through 54 holes. He chipped in for a birdie, sparking a run of five consecutive birdies on Nos. 8-12 and setting up a stroll to the finish and an ultimate five-stroke victory. Tyrell Hatton would put together a run of five consecutive birdies of his own, coming on holes 14-18, to post a 65 and a 72-hole total of 12-under 276. He wasn’t close enough to Scheffler, though, who parred the last four holes after a bogey on the 14th to shoot a 69 and finish at 271.

  • Scheffler ranked first in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green at 4.292 per round, ranking in the top five on tee shots, approaches, and around the green.
  • Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, became the third player to hold the Masters and THE PLAYERS titles at the same time, joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
  • Scheffler was the sixth player to record four rounds in the 60s since the tournament moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982 and only the third since 1994.
  • Tom Hoge set the course record at TPC Sawgrass with a 62 in the third round. Finishing T3 after a 78 in the first round, he became the first player to finish in the top five after a first round of 78 or higher in a PGA TOUR event since 2007.
  • Tyrell Hatton tied the tournament record for low back-nine score with a 29 in the final round, matching Kevin Chappell, Rory McIlroy, and Shane Lowry, who all did it in 2016.

This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.