Scottie Scheffler makes history with Players win


Scottie Scheffler fired a final-round, 8-under 64 to become the first player in the 50-year history of The Players Championship to win at TPC Sawgrass in consecutive years.

Scheffler finished the week 20-under 268 to claim his second straight Players victory in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

"It's pretty special," said Scheffler, the first golfer to win The Players twice since Tiger Woods (2001, 2013). "That's something you never really get the opportunity to do very often. It's tough enough to win one Players, so to have it back-to-back is extremely special."

The World No. 1, who fought through neck pain earlier in the tournament, started the day five shots off the pace of 54-hole leader Xander Schauffele.

After racking up an eagle and six birdies to get to 20 under, he watched as Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark and Schauffele were unable to pull out one more birdie to force a playoff.

Clark's bid to tie, on nearly the exact putt Harman missed moments before, traced the left rim of the cup around the back and out.

Harman (68 on Sunday), Clark (69) and Schauffele (70) tied for second at 19 under. Matt Fitzpatrick (69) finished fifth at 16 under.

Scheffler was in the mix to start the week after opening with a 5-under 67. His neck troubles came Friday, when he felt a pinch during a swing and needed mid-round treatment.

"I played really good golf on Thursday," Scheffler said. "I made an early birdie, I think I was 2 under through four on Friday so I was right in the thick of the tournament.

"All of a sudden I get that pinch in my neck, and I gutted it out around there, getting it around in a few under par, keeping myself in the tournament. Same thing Saturday. 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 also won on tour for the second straight week, having captured his second career Arnold Palmer Invitational title last week in Orlando. He has six top-10 finishes in seven starts this season.

"I think mentally it can be very taxing," Scheffler said. "Physically it's fairly taxing, as well, but mentally it's a lot of fun being in the final groups, but it also takes a toll on your body and your mind.

"So, yeah, there's definitely a big mental aspect to that. But that's the most fun. It's the most fun you can have on a golf course, I think, is being in contention."

Scheffler kick-started his low round by holing out for an eagle 2 at the fourth. His wedge shot into the green bounced three times, picked up some side spin and dropped in the hole.

After an 18-footer and a 16-footer for birdies, he made four more birdies from Nos. 8-12 to catapult up the board while Schauffele and company tried to keep pace.

Clark, looking for another big trophy to add to his growing collection (the US Open, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and more), birdied holes 16 and 17 to get close. He stuck his tee shot at the famed 17th to 4 1/2 feet but his birdie effort from 17 feet out at the 18th refused to go in.

"I don't know how that putt doesn't go in," Clark said. "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 in) inside left, and even when it kind of lipped, I thought it would lip in. I'm pretty gutted it didn't go in."

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