Scottie Scheffler returned to the top of the world rankings after securing a five-shot victory at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
The American holed five consecutive birdies midway through his round to race away from the field as he closed with a three-under 69 to win with a 17 under par total.
Tyrrell Hatton finished alone in second on 12 under after birdieing his final five holes in a closing 65, while Viktor Hovland’s 68 lifted him into joint third on 10 under with Tom Hoge.
Scheffler overtook Jon Rahm at the top of the rankings after the Spaniard pulled out of the tournament following the first round because of illness, while Rory McIlroy’s hopes of regaining the no.1 spot also ended on Friday when he missed the cut by three shots.
Scheffler started the final round with a two-shot lead over Min Woo Lee of Australia but that advantage had been wiped out by the third hole, when Lee birdied the first and Scheffler bogeyed the third to leave them tied on 13 under. However, a triple-bogey seven on the fourth derailed Lee’s chances and he also had a double-bogey seven on the par-five 11th as his challenge further faded. He eventually signed for a 76 to finish on eight under.
Hatton was level par for his first nine holes, but then birdied 10, 12, and every hole from 14-18 to play the final nine holes in a tournament record-equalling 29 and set a clubhouse target of 12 under. Second place earned Hatton the biggest cheque of his career, $2.7m. He is already a near-certainty to represent Europe once again at the Ryder Cup in Italy in September.
But just as Hatton was finishing up, Scheffler was chipping in for a birdie on the par-three eighth to get to 14 under and that sparked his run of five successive birdies that took him into a six-shot lead with six to play.
“I did a really good job of staying patient and not trying to force things and then I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away,” said the Texan, who became just the third player to hold the Players and Masters titles at the same time, emulating Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. “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.”
Following his latest triumph, Scheffler has now won six times on The PGA Tour since last February. After completion of the Ryder Cup in September 2021, and aside from victories, Scheffler has amassed 14 other top-10 finishes, and has won almost $25m in prize money, $4.5m of which was earned this week.
For all the scores and the final leaderboard from the Players Championship, click here.
Scottie Scheffler’s winning gear
DRIVER: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ (8°)
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15°)
IRONS: Srixon ZU85 (3-4), TaylorMade P-7TW (5-PW)
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50°, 56°, 60°)
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tour prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1