Scottie Scheffler goes back-to-back at WM Phoenix Open, reclaims World No. 1
If Scottie Scheffler was aiming to repeat the dominant run during the first half of last year, he’s two steps closer.
Scheffler never ceded the two-shot he began the day with, firing a methodical 65 to win the WM Phoenix Open for the second-straight season. The win also moves Scheffler to No. 1 in the world for the second time in his career.
Last year’s win at the WM Phoenix Open was Scheffler’s first career win, but 364 days later, he’s now a five-time PGA Tour winner, including 2022’s Masters title.
“I’m just proud of how I fought today. I didn’t have my best stuff. I grinded it out today,” Scheffler told CBS’ Amanda Renner on the 18th green. “I wasn’t hitting it good off the tee, my irons didn’t feel as sharp, but I played a great round today.”
Both Scheffler and Jon Rahm each had a chance to supplant Rory McIlroy for the Official World Golf Ranking’s top spot with a win and McIlroy finishing outside the top-3. McIlroy opened with a 73 on Thursday and never made up the momentum, finishing tied for 32nd.
Rahm looked to be a serious contender, birding two of the first three holes while playing in the final group with Scheffler. But he struggled to build momentum after that as Scheffler pulled ahead. A water ball on the par-5 15th doomed his chances.
That left Scheffler to battle it out with Canadian Nick Taylor, also in the final group, throughout the back nine. Taylor caught up at 16 under with a five under run through his first 10 holes.
Scheffler then nailed a 22-footer for eagle on 13 to regain some separation, which he would carry to the iconic par-3 16th.
At the stadium hole, all three players in the final group missed the green long and left, with Scheffler pinned up against the massive grandstands surrounding the green. He was able to take relief, but hit his chip too far, giving himself a 15-footer to keep his outright lead.
Taylor’s ball initially landed on the green, on line with the pin, but kept funneling left and eventually down a slope past the left bunker. He played his second to eight feet from the chipping area.
“I really felt that was a great swing off the tee there,” Taylor said. “That wind was just crazy strong. I played enough for it, just obviously not quite enough.”
Scheffler’s par effort never left the center of the cup, erupting the some-17,000 in the stands after it fell one last time for the week.
“That one almost looked like it was gonna be short for a while, but that putt was really fast, just kind of kept on going,” Scheffler said. “Kind of like the putt I had here at 18 last year. It was definitely a lot of fun to see that go in.”
Taylor couldn’t steady himself after the roar and missed his putt, giving Scheffler a two-stroke cushion with two to play. No winner at the Phoenix Open has ever bogeyed 16 on Sunday.
“I would love the chip back on there,” Taylor said. “I felt like that was one I could potentially hole. It was still a tricky chip, but one I would like to do little bit better.”
With the two-shot win, Scheffler takes home the season’s first full-field designated event title with a purse of $20 million and a winner’s share of $3.6 million.