Scottie Scheffler defends Players Championship title with dominant Sunday charge

Scottie Scheffler at the 2024 Players Championship.

Scottie Scheffler is the first back-to-back winner at the Players.

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There were 51 weeks between Scottie Scheffler‘s sixth and seventh PGA Tour wins.

Win No. 8 took just one more week for the unquestionable No. 1 player in the world.

A week after returning to the winner’s circle for the first time since last year’s Players, Scheffler made it two in a row on the PGA Tour and back-to-back at TPC Sawgrass, shooting a final-round 64 to win the 2024 Players Championship by one over Xander Schauffele, Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark.

It’s Scheffler’s second win in as many weeks after he broke a year-long winless drought at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He becomes the first player to defend a Players Championship title in the tournament’s 50-year history and the seventh to win the event multiple times.

“it’s pretty special,” Scheffler said of the back-to-back wins. “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, and yeah, really thankful.”

Scheffler started the day five back of 54-hole leader Xander Schauffele and seemed to be hampered by a neck injury that saw him receive treatment during his round Friday.

But his otherworldly ball-striking elevated him above the field, even as he said he took extra clubs to avoid aggravating the injury. Scheffler led the field in strokes gained: off-the-tee and SG: tee-to-green.

“I’m a pretty competitive guy, and I didn’t want to give up in the tournament,” Scheffler said. “I did what I could to hang around until my neck got better. Today it felt really good. Marnus did a great job getting me going, getting it massaged out, and I was very thankful.”

His putter, which finally broke a cold streak at Bay Hill, wasn’t exceptional but was good as he needed it to be. He was middle of the pack in putting for the week, but required just 25 putts on Sunday.

Sporting kinesiology tape on his neck on the final day, Scheffler jumpstarted his round by holing his second shot at the 4th for an eagle. He added six more birdies plus a nifty two-putt par from 48 feet on the island-green 17th.

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At the same time that Scheffler was playing the famous closing stretch, the final pairing of Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark bogeyed the 14th hole. That put Scheffler in the lead by himself as Schauffele drifted one back and Clark three behind. Brian Harman, who was 19 under through 15, hit it in the trees on 16 and failed to birdie the par-5 to tie Scheffler.

All three chasers came to the 18th a shot back of Scheffler after Schauffele got back to 19 under with a birdie on 16 and Clark went back-to-back on 16 and 17. All three gave themselves a chance on the 72nd green to tie. But all three also missed, with Clark coming the closest, his birdie effort suffering a 180-degree lip out to secure his second-straight runner-up.

The five-shot comeback for Scheffler matches the largest in tournament history at TPC Sawgrass.

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