Scottie Scheffler of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship

Scottie Scheffler’s Dominant Victory Caps Off Historic PLAYERS Championship

Scheffler adds PLAYERS Champion to his Impressive Resumé.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

With four rounds in the 60s, Scheffler was always in the mix at the 2023 PLAYERS. He made his move on Saturday, firing a 7-under 65 and securing a two-stroke lead heading into the final round. On Sunday, after a somewhat shaky start that saw Min Woo Lee tie him at 13-under at one point, Scheffler caught fire just before making the turn.

His chip-in for birdie from a tricky lie on the par-3 8th ignited a stretch of five straight birdies, and the 26-year-old never looked back. He dropped a 25-footer to save par on 18 and to chants of “Scottie! Scottie! Scottie!” finished at 17-under, five clear of Tyrrell Hatton.

“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,” said the newly-crowned champion, moments after he closed out the 2023 PLAYERS with a 3-under 69. “After that, I tried to put things away as quickly as I could.”

While Scheffler wasn’t challenged on the back nine, several big-name players made a late push on Sunday, propelling themselves up the leaderboard. Hatton started Sunday in the middle of the pack at 5-under, but a 7-under, 65, which included a back-nine 29, vaulted him into solo second and earned him the $2.75 million second-place prize.

Viktor Hovland and Hideki Matsuyama both shot 4-under on Sunday, putting them in contention, though they were merely a glimpse of Scheffler’s burning-hot wake.

Living on Island Time

From shouts of delight to groans of despair, the infamous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass lived up to its reputation at the 2023 PLAYERS.

While the field benefitted from reasonable conditions throughout all four rounds, the 17th remained a great equalizer. The wedge-length hole gobbled up 43 balls in the first three rounds, including two from the bag of former leader Chad Ramey. At 9-under, Ramey stormed into the 17th with a two-stroke lead on Friday and limped out two strokes back with his quadruple bogey. Taylor Montgomery also carded a dreaded seven on the 17th on Sunday after finding the water twice himself, dropping him from T6 to T44. Max Homa’s Sunday push for the top of the leaderboard was stopped dead in its tracks when his tee shot made a splash. His double bogey was the only blemish on his final round 69, but cost him several spots on the board.

Aces Time

However, it certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom at the 17th this year. The 2023 PLAYERS stands alone as the only tournament with multiple aces at 17.

There were not one, not two, but THREE aces at #17 in the 2023 tournament. Hayden Buckley woke up the crowd on Thursday morning with the first ace, Aaron Rai spun one into the cup in the third round, and Alex Smalley one-hopped one in on Sunday morning.

Setting a record

After a disappointing first-round 78, Tom Hoge thought it safe to make travel arrangements for Friday afternoon. A combination of his 4-under second round and a late Friday weather delay demanded Hoge move his Friday afternoon flight to Saturday. After squeaking in the cut line at 2-over, his trip back home to Dallas had to wait once again. It was well worth it. Hoge lit Sawgrass on fire Saturday with a historic, bogey-free round of 62. So locked in on the round was the stoic Hoge, that he was unaware that his 10-footer for birdie on 18 was for an all-time Sawgrass record.

“No, not until I finished, and Shane Lowry mentioned it to me after I made the putt,” said Hoge when asked if he knew he had secured the course record at the time. The previous mark of 63 was set by Fred Couples in 1993 and then mirrored by eight others since – including Greg Norman, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka.


Canadians start hot, finish strong

Despite the American champion, the tournament proved to be somewhat of a coming-out party for Canadian golf. Of the three Canadians who made the cut at the 2023 PLAYERS (Adam Hadwin, Adam Svensson and Taylor Pendrith), each attracted some well-earned, tournament-wide buzz at some point or another.

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Richmond Hill’s Taylor Pendrith turned in a 5-under 67 in the first round of competition on Thursday, good for T3. Second and third rounds of 73 and 72, respectively, kept him within striking distance before the wheels fell off on Sunday with an 8-over 80.

In red numbers through all four rounds, Adam Hadwin was, at one point on Sunday, tied in sixth place. His final round 71 wasn’t enough to seriously contend, but he still finished 7-under for the tournament, good for T13 and tied with Adam Svensson as the top Canadian.

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The 36-hole leader was none other than British Columbia’s Svensson. A furious 68-67 start to the tournament left the 29-year-old from Surrey, BC, two clear of the field heading into Saturday, yet his weekend scores of 75 and 71 weren’t enough to keep him in contention. Despite relinquishing the lead, the 2023 tournament was still a massive step forward for Svensson. He finished T13. “It’s been great. Hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, putting well. Just playing safe, playing aggressive when I can,” said Svensson when asked about his play in the 2023 PLAYERS.

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