Scottie Scheffler back on top of the world after Players Championship triumph

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The American finished five shots clear at TPC Sawgrass.
Posted on
March 12, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Scottie Scheffler produced a commanding performance to regain the world number one spot with a five-shot victory at the Players Championship.

The American responded to a strong challenge from Englishman Tyrrell Hatton to shoot a final-round 69 at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday and win with a score of 17 under.

Scheffler effectively secured victory with a run of five successive birdies from the eighth.

Hatton finished second on 12 under after a superb 65 that featured seven birdies in a course record-equalling back nine of 29.

Norway’s Viktor Hovland and American Tom Hoge finished on 10 under with Hideki Matsuyama, who briefly threatened Scheffler, on nine under.

Scheffler, who now supplants Jon Rahm at the top of the world rankings, had begun the day with a two-shot lead and was relieved to complete the job.

He said on Sky Sports: “I did a really good job of staying patient, not trying to force things, and then I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away as quickly as I could.

“The final stretch was pretty tough, especially with how windy it was getting. The shots on 17 were challenging. I am very thankful, relieved and a bit tired.”

Scheffler initially offered his rivals hope with a shaky start.

Playing partner Min Woo Lee cancelled out his advantage within the opening three holes.

The Australian birdied the opener and then found himself in a share of the lead after Scheffler missed a short putt to bogey the third.

With Matsuyama on a charge further down the course to get within a stroke, the pressure was suddenly on the American.

Yet neither Lee nor Matsuyama could maintain their challenges.

The Japanese, who had shot up the leaderboard with seven birdies, took a double-bogey six at the 14th and then dropped another stroke on the last.

Meanwhile Lee made a mess of the fourth, first having to chip out of the rough and then taking a drop after finding water. He ended up with a triple-bogey seven and another seven on the 11th meant his tournament would finish in anti-climax on eight under.

Without finding his stride, Scheffler’s lead was back to three but there was still little room for error as Hatton was finishing strongly.

Hatton burst into life after the turn with his strong run including birdies on each of the last five holes to post a stern clubhouse target.

As he left the final green he was just two off the lead and may have sensed an unlikely victory opportunity.

“I just wanted to finish with as many birdies as possible,” Hatton told Sky Sports after wrapping up his round in style following a superb approach at the 18th from behind a tree. “Fortunately I gave myself some great chances and the putter co-operated.”

It was at this point Scheffler rose to the challenge. He chipped in at the eighth to spark the run that all but wrapped up victory.

Scottie Scheffler
Scheffler took control after chipping in at the eighth (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

He dropped a shot at the 14th but never looked like relinquishing his grip and once he found the heart of the green at the ever-difficult 17th, the celebrations could almost begin.

Hoge, Hovland, Sungjae Im, Max Homa and Cam Davis all threatened to get into contention at various points but their chances faltered as Scheffler pulled away.

Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai, joint fourth overnight, simply struggled to find their spark. Rai had four bogeys and a double on the 17th – which he memorably aced on Saturday – in his 75 and finished on six under. Fleetwood was a shot further back after three bogeys and two doubles – also including the 17th – in a round of 76.

Justin Rose was never a contender but looked set for a decent finish until taking five at the 17th. That saw him drop back to eight under and an eventual seven-way tie for sixth place.

The 17th was not a nightmare for everyone, however, with Alex Smalley becoming the third player this week to make a hole-in-one at the signature par three.

His remarkable shot did not even touch the green as the ball bounced off the rough directly into the hole. He finished one over.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3R4Total
1Scottie Scheffler-1768696569271
2Tyrrell Hatton-1272716865276
T3Viktor Hovland-1069717068278
T3Tom Hoge-1078686270278
5Hideki Matsuyama-974706768279
T6Max Homa-872726769280
T6Justin Suh-868736970280
T6Justin Rose-869736771280
T6David Lingmerth-872686872280
T6Sungjae Im-875696472280
T6Cam Davis-869706774280
T6Min Woo Lee-868706676280
T13Collin Morikawa-765737271281
T13Adam Svensson-768677571281
T13Adam Hadwin-771706971281
T13Rickie Fowler-772706871281
T13Denny McCarthy-768726972281
T13Christiaan Bezuidenhout-768706974281
T19Xander Schauffele-672736968282
T19Russell Henley-672746670282
T19Tony Finau-673726671282
T19Brandon Wu-673696971282
T19Jason Day-670707072282
T19Patrick Cantlay-672706872282
T19Jordan Spieth-669756672282
T19Aaron Rai-673696575282
T27Eric Cole-573736968283
T27Brendon Todd-571697469283
T27Danny Willett-572717169283
T27Ryan Fox-574687071283
T27Wyndham Clark-569736972283
T27Si Woo Kim-569746872283
T27Chad Ramey-564756876283
T27Tommy Fleetwood-572706576283
T35Shane Lowry-477696870284
T35Keith Mitchell-472746870284
T35Austin Smotherman-473726970284
T35Sam Burns-468747270284
T35Mark Hubbard-471727071284
T35Byeong Hun An-471707073284
T35Ben Griffin-467717274284
T35Taylor Moore-470756574284
T35Dylan Wu-469736874284
T44Chesson Hadley-371737269285
T44Stephan Jaeger-374726970285
T44Sam Ryder-373726971285
T44Brian Harman-373717071285
T44Kramer Hickok-373706973285
T44Garrick Higgo-370736874285
T44Taylor Montgomery-370736676285
T51Tom Kim-274727169286
T51Lucas Glover-269747172286
T51Cameron Young-271736874286
T54Ben Martin-171747270287
T54Matthias Schwab-175707270287
T54Jerry Kelly-174726972287
T54Will Gordon-173677374287
T54Gary Woodland-172707174287
T54Tyler Duncan-173697075287
T60Justin ThomasPar73737171288
T60Joel DahmenPar73717371288
T60Maverick McNealyPar74717073288
T60Nate LashleyPar69717375288
T60Francesco MolinariPar73716876288
T65Sepp Straka+174727469289
T65Patton Kizzire+174717470289
T65Alex Smalley+171756974289
68Davis Thompson+370736979291
T69Scott Stallings+471747275292
T69Taylor Pendrith+467737280292
71Adam Scott+572737771293
72Aaron Baddeley+773727476295
73Will Zalatoris+874717477296
74Sahith Theegala+1070757875298
75Kevin Kisner+1172737381299
CUTAndrew Putnam+37374--147
CUTMatt Fitzpatrick+37671--147
CUTRyan Palmer+36978--147
CUTScott Piercy+37176--147
CUTThomas Detry+37869--147
CUTHayden Buckley+37374--147
CUTKevin Streelman+37176--147
CUTJ.J. Spaun+37275--147
CUTLuke List+37770--147
CUTEmiliano Grillo+37077--147
CUTMatt Wallace+37275--147
CUTTroy Merritt+37473--147
CUTHarrison Endycott+37077--147
CUTKevin Tway+47573--148
CUTAdam Schenk+47474--148
CUTChez Reavie+47276--148
CUTMatt Kuchar+47078--148
CUTChris Kirk+47375--148
CUTKeegan Bradley+47078--148
CUTDavis Riley+47177--148
CUTPeter Malnati+47276--148
CUTPatrick Rodgers+47375--148
CUTKurt Kitayama+57376--149
CUTK.H. Lee+57376--149
CUTJames Hahn+57376--149
CUTAlex Noren+57772--149
CUTJoseph Bramlett+57178--149
CUTMichael Thompson+57772--149
CUTNick Taylor+57475--149
CUTRory McIlroy+57673--149
CUTHarris English+57871--149
CUTJ.T. Poston+67575--150
CUTSeamus Power+67476--150
CUTErik Barnes+67476--150
CUTRobby Shelton+67278--150
CUTCallum Tarren+67377--150
CUTCorey Conners+67575--150
CUTNico Echavarria+67179--150
CUTNick Hardy+67773--150
CUTJustin Lower+77477--151
CUTRyan Armour+77279--151
CUTDylan Frittelli+77279--151
CUTRobert Streb+77873--151
CUTMackenzie Hughes+77576--151
CUTGreyson Sigg+77477--151
CUTRussell Knox+87577--152
CUTDoc Redman+87874--152
CUTBeau Hossler+87676--152
CUTRyan Brehm+87280--152
CUTWebb Simpson+87676--152
CUTBilly Horschel+87379--152
CUTJhonattan Vegas+87874--152
CUTS.H. Kim+97776--153
CUTTyson Alexander+97776--153
CUTLee Hodges+97677--153
CUTStewart Cink+97281--153
CUTAdam Long+97578--153
CUTAndrew Novak+107975--154
CUTDoug Ghim+108074--154
CUTMatthew NeSmith+117778--155
CUTDavid Lipsky+127680--156
CUTAaron Wise+128076--156
CUTTrey Mullinax+127185--156
CUTKelly Kraft+128076--156
CUTMartin Laird+137681--157
CUTNick Watney+147979--158
CUTMax McGreevy+146989--158
CUTLucas Herbert+238285--167
W/DJon Rahm-71---71
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