No. 1 Scheffler Posts 64 to Repeat as Winner in 50th Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler again showed why he is No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings, and this time made a bit of history while he was at it.

The 27-year-old Scheffler closed with a bogey-free, eight-under-par 64 to come from five strokes behind and win the 50th Players Championship by one stroke over fifth-ranked Wyndham Clark, sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele and ninth-ranked Brian Harman on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Scheffler, who also won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, became the first golfer to win the Players back-to-back, but it came only after Clark lipped out a 17-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

“It’s really great to win The Players again and make some history doing it,” said Scheffler, who won despite a neck injury that bothered him this week. “It’s tough enough to win one Players, so to do it back-to-back is extremely special. Yeah, I’m just really thankful because this is a wonderful tournament on a great course.

“I played really well yesterday to put myself in position to have something of a chance to win today. I got off to a bit of a slow start today, but then when I holed out for eagle on the fourth hole it really got me going. I hit a lot of good shots after that and gave myself some birdie chances, and was able to make a few.

“My neck was really bothering me on Thursday and Friday, but I got some treatment and it was much better yesterday and it feels pretty good right now. I was able to make some really good swings today and it’s just great to be holding the trophy.”

Scheffler, who has won eight times in the last three seasons on the PGA Tour including the 2022 Masters, holed out from 92 yards for his eagle on the fourth hole and made three birdies on each nine in his 64, to record a winning score of 20-under-par 268.

Clark, the reigning U.S. Open champion, made birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to pull with one stroke of Scheffler in a 69 the massive lip-out on the final hole prevented him from taking Scheffler to a playoff.

“I’m really bummed that the putt on No. 18 didn’t go in,” said Clark, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last month and held the lead after opening 65-65 this week. “I hit a really good putt, it was on a good line and a foot from the hole I was sure it was going in. But then it veered a little left, hit the lip and spun out. It had great speed and I don’t think I could have hit it any better.

“I’m feeling pretty down right now, but I’m sure by tomorrow I will look at what I’ve done lately and feel pretty good about it. I’ve finished second to Scottie two weeks in a row and that’s not bad because he is the best golfer in the world right now.”

Schauffele, the 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist from La Jolla and San Diego State, held the 54-hole lead before closing with a 70 that included five birdies, but he missed a seven-foot birdie putt on No. 17 that would have tied Scheffler for the lead.

Harman, who captured the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in England, had five birdies against a single bogey in his 68, but missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the last hole that would have forced a playoff.

Matt Fitzpatrick of England, the 2022 U.S. Open champion, birdied the last four holes to cap a 69 and was four shots down in solo fifth, while Si Woo Kim sank a  18-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole and added seven birdies in a 64 to wind up five back in a tie for sixth with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the 2020 Masters champion, who carded a bogey-free 67.

Tenth-ranked Ludvig Aberg of Sweden sank a six-foot eagle putt in a bogey-free 67 and finished six shots back in solo eighth, while Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine birdied two of the first six holes en route to a 71 and wound up seven shots behind in a tie for ninth Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley and Stanford, who had one birdie and one bogey in a 72.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland closed with a 72 to tie for 19th, while fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway tied for 62nd after struggling to a 74, eighth-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal tied for 64th after a 71, and seventh-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA tied for 68th after making only one birdie as he stumbled to a 75.

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