Scottie Scheffler finally is a winner on the PGA Tour.
The 25-year-old Scheffler, who won nearly 100 times as an amateur, sank a 26-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to defeat fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA for victory in the 87th version WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
“It was so great to get that last putt to drop,” said Scheffler, who had two runner-up finishes and 10 results in the top 20 on the circuit before winning. “I’m just so glad it went in. I think the first one is probably always the hardest, and I definitely made it pretty difficult on myself today.
“It’s just been a lot of hard work but I’ve had a lot of support and we’ve worked really hard for this. I’m so appreciative. What a great place for your first win. It’s such a wonderful place and such a fun week. I’m very pleased.”
Cantlay, the reigning FedEx Cup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year, missed an 11-foot birdie putt to prolong the playoff.
Scheffler, who shot 62 in the third round to climb into contention, sank a five-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole of regulation to tie for the lead and closed with a 4-under-par 67 to catch Cantlay at 16-under, 268.
Cantlay also finished with a 67 and missed a nine-foot birdie putt on the last hole of regulation, while Scheffler missed a six-footer on the final hole that would have given him the victory.
“I’ve played well the last couple weeks and just haven’t won,” said Cantlay, who finished fourth at Pebble Beach last week and has four top-10 finishes in as many starts this year. “I’m playing well and feel good about my game but just didn’t get many putts to fall this week. I just missed on several today.
“But I’m looking forward to playing at Riviera (in the Genesis Invitational) this coming week.”
Rookie Sahith Theegla of Chino Hills and Pepperdine led after each of the first three rounds and still was tied for the lead with Cantlay when his tee shot on the par-4, 317-yard 17th hole went over the green and into the water, leading a bogey.
Theegala, who was playing on a sponsor’s exemption, finished with a 70 and was one stroke back in a tie for third with eighth-ranked Xander Schauffle, the Olympic Gold Medalist from La Jolla and San Diego State who had a bogey-free 68, and defending champion Brooks Koepka, who birdied the last two holes for a 69.
“I have mixed emotions,” said an emotional Theegala, a three-time All-American at Pepperdine who was national college player of the year in 2020. “I’m really happy with the way I played all week, but not pleased with the way I finished.
“I thought I hit a really good shot at No. 17, but got a bad bounce. I’m just trying to process it all right now.”
Billy Horschel had four birdies on the front nine in a bogey-free 66 and was two down in a tie for sixth with Alex Noren of Sweden, who had three birdies on each nine in a 68, while seventh-ranked Justin Thomas carded a bogey-free 66 to finish one more down in a tie for eight with 10th–ranked Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the reigning Masters champion, who had three birdies on the back nine in a 69.
Top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain sank a seven-foot eagle putt at No. 13 to highlight a 67 and wound up four strokes behind in a tie for eighth with Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who made four late birdies in another 67, Keith Mitchell and Patton Kizzire, who both came in at 68.
And once again, the tournament known as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” lived up to its name.
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