Scottie Scheffler wrestled the world number one spot from Rory McIlroy after successfully defending his Phoenix Open title with a two-shot win over Canada’s Nick Taylor, with Jon Rahm a further three shots back in third.
The 26-year-old American, whose last win came at last year’s Masters, started the final round with a two-stroke lead but saw that halved immediately as both of his nearest pursuers, Canada’s Nick Taylor and Jon Rahm birdied the first. Scheffler hit back with birdies on the second and third holes, while Rahm’s challenge faded with a bogey at eight.
With six holes remaining, Taylor and Scheffler were tied for the lead before the American drained an eagle putt on the 13th to take outright control. Scheffler then holed a 15-foot clutch putt on the par-three 16th to preserve his advantage before a comfortable par on the last spot the finishing touch to a six-under 65 which took him to 19-under-par winning total.
“I’m just proud with how I fought, I didn’t have my best stuff,” said Scheffler, who won $3.6m for his week’s work, more than double his total earnings from last year due to the tournament’s new elevated status. “I ground it out, I wasn’t hitting it good off the tee, my irons weren’t as sharp, but I played a great round of golf.”
McIlroy, who had held the number one spot for 30 weeks until October, finished joint 32nd on four under.
For the final leaderboard from the Phoenix Open, click here.
Scottie Scheffler’s winning gear
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (8°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15°)
Irons: Srixon ZU85 (3-4), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50°, 56°), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60°)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS tour prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1