Scheffler Continues to Target Players Following Clark’s Lip-Out On 18

There had never been a repeat winner in the Players Championship’s first 49 years of existence.

Three times, Jack Nicklaus was unable to pull it off. Tiger Woods twice, Davis Love III twice, Fred Couples twice, and a host of other notable individuals were unable to do it.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler made history on Sunday by becoming the first player to win the 50th edition of the “fifth major” at TPC Sawgrass twice in a row. He did this by overtaking Xander Schauffele, who was five strokes behind him at the beginning of the final round, and finishing with a 72-hole total of 20 under.

“It’s tough enough to win one Players,” remarked Scheffler, who finished with an 8-under 64. “So to have it back-to-back is extremely special. Yeah, really thankful.”

Scheffler was forced to watch from the driving range as the world’s sixth-ranked golfer, Schauffele, along with the two most recent major title winners, Brian Harman (The Open) and Wyndham Clark (U.S. Open), pursued him in an attempt to force a playoff.

Scheffler’s second victory in as many weeks was not assured until Clark watched his 17-foot birdie attempt on the challenging 18th hole cruelly strike the left lip and spin out for par, following his birdie of the famous 17th hole to move to 1 back.

“I was out on the range,” Scheffler remarked. “I was listening to the crowd noise. I heard a groan, and so it sounded like a missed putt.”

After 36 holes, Clark had a 4-shot lead and expressed his disappointment that his try to win hadn’t gone in.

Clark remarked, “I don’t know how that putt doesn’t go in.” “It was kind of right-center with like a foot to go, and I knew it was going to keep breaking. But it had speed and I thought it was going to go inside left, and even when it kind of lipped, I thought it would lip in. I’m pretty gutted it didn’t go in.”

Entering the final round with a score of 65 or higher, Scheffler joined Nicklaus (1976), Couples (1996), and Love (2003) as the only other Players victor to accomplish this feat.

At 19 under, Harman, Schauffele, and Clark shared the second place. Matt Fitzpatrick, a previous Open Championship winner, finished sixth at 16 under after making birdies on his last four holes.

At TPC Sawgrass, Scheffler’s rally matched the biggest comeback by a Players Championship winner; in 1998 and 2009, respectively, Justin Leonard and Henrik Stenson also overcame 5-hole deficits to win the championship. Over his last 31 holes, Scheffler did not make a bogey.

Despite suffering from a neck injury during the second and third rounds, Scheffler persevered on Saturday, making birdies on four of his final five holes to maintain his lead.

“I said before when you get an acute injury like that, if you can wake up the next day feeling a little bit better or the exact same, it’s a win,” Scheffler stated. “Usually the morning after is worse the following day. Woke up Saturday feeling a little bit better, was able to hit some shots yesterday but not many. Then today I woke up feeling fairly close to normal. I went out there and had a good round of golf.”

Scheffler reverted to striking posture and declared that a “hot day [Sunday] could go a long way.”

During the last eighteen holes, he was indeed hot. He opened his round with pars on his first three holes, but on the par-4 fourth, he opened up with a hole-out eagle from 92 yards out to get to 14 under. He then made birdie putts of sixteen feet and eleven feet on Nos. 8 and 9, respectively, and eighteen feet on No. 5.

Former Masters champion Scheffler shared the lead at 19 under after making consecutive birdies on holes 11 and 12. On the thirteenth hole, he missed a 5-foot birdie putt that would have given him a solo lead, the only mistake he made inside that range the entire competition.

Clark stated that at the age of eleven, he saw his first scoreboard.

“I kind of chuckled and I said, ‘Yeah, of course,'” said the man. “I mean, he’s the best player in the world.”

“It’s just another week,” Schauffele thought as he noticed Scheffler close to the top.

Scheffler tied Schauffele at 20 under on the par-5 16th hole, having fallen behind him by one stroke earlier. Scheffler chipped in for a birdie after his approach ball into the little greenside pot bunker, extending out to one foot. By that point, Clark had retreated, Schauffele had recorded consecutive bogeys, and Harman was out of holes.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *