Scottie Scheffler closes with a 64 to repeat at The Players Championship

The world number one becomes the first player in tournament’s 50-year history to win at TPC Sawgrass in consecutive years.

Already the best in the world, Scottie Scheffler added another layer to his legend on Sunday.

The American became the first player to win back-to-back in 50 years of The Players Championship by matching the biggest comeback and the lowest closing round by a winner.

Scheffler holed out for eagle from the fourth fairway and had four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn, sending him to an 8-under 64 and a one-shot victory that was not decided until the final putt.

Xander Schauffele, Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark all had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie on the daunting 18th hole at the TPC Sawgrass.

Clark had the last shot, a putt just inside 18 feet that dipped into the cup on the left side and came out on the right side, leaving him stunned as he placed his hand over his mouth.

“I don’t know how that putt doesn’t go in,” Clark said. “Even when it kind of lipped, I thought it would lip in. I’m pretty gutted it didn’t go in.”

Scheffler, who started the final round five shots behind, was on the practice range preparing for a three-hole playoff when he got the word and showed more emotion than usual for someone who is getting used to winning.

“It’s tough enough to win one Players,” Scheffler said. “So, to have it back-to-back is extremely special. Yeah, really thankful.”

Scheffler finished at 20-under 268 and won $4.5m, pushing the 27-year-old from Dallas over the $50m mark in his career.

His 64 matched the lowest final round by a Players champion, last done by Davis Love III in 2003, and he tied Justin Leonard (1998) with his five-shot comeback.

The Players Championship, despite not being a major, has been promoted by the PGA Tour as golf’s “fifth major” due to its reputation as the next most prestigious tournament in golf and lucrative $25m prize purse.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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