A major winner, WGC victory and now a Players Champion. The last 365+ days for Scottie Scheffler have been a hall of fame career for most. While life has changed dramatically for humble Texan, his demeanor has stayed the same.
In fact, today is 392 days since Scheffler got his first PGA Tour win at the 2022 WM Phoenix Open. Over the last 40 years, only two players have got their first and sixth PGA Tour wins within 400 days of each other: Tiger Woods in 273 days and David Duval in 322 days (data from @JustinRayGolf).
Coming into the final round of the 2023 Players with a two-stroke lead, Scheffler had gained more than 4 strokes on the field tee-to-green in each of the first three rounds this week. He is the first player to do that in the ShotLink era.
Following an uncharacteristic bogey at the par 3 third, after flying his P·7TW 7-iron right over the flag, the new World No. 1 was unfazed. On the very next hole, he positioned himself for birdie at the short but challenging par 4 fourth by selecting driver off the tee. He leads the Tour in bounce back birdies after bogey in 2023 at a sultry 36% percent rate. While the birdie at four wasn’t to be, it was a sign of things to come. Scottie kept is foot on the gas and used his driver as a weapon.
He was the aggressor all day, showing all the confidence in the world in his Stealth 2 Plus driver. After opting for the big stick at four, he reached for it again on the narrow 5th and 6th holes while his playing partner opted for iron off the tee. He showed confidence in his Stealth 2 Plus driver all tournament long, but particularly in the final round. At six, he pummeled driver 300+ yards into a fairway that was less than 20 yards wide, leaving him with an 80-yard approach.
BUILDING SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER'S STEALTH 2 PLUS DRIVER
- Head: Stealth 2 Plus 8°
- Actual Loft: 8.5°
- Lie: 59°
- Shaft: Ventus Black 7X Velocore
- Tip: 1"
- Length: 45 cut
- Swingweight: D3
- Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58 (6 wraps double side)
Scottie’s impressive week included holing out three times and none more crucial than the birdie chip at the par-3 eighth in the final round. It sparked a strectch of five bridies in row that pushed his lead to six shots by the time he reached the 14th tee. The quick breakdown for those who want it:
- Powers a Stealth 2 Plus driver at the par-5 10th that leads to an easy birdie.
- Long downhill putt at 10 brings his score to 16-under-par
- Stealth 2 Plus set up yet another easy birdie at the par 5 11th after a 310-yard drive allowed him to reach the green in two.
- He pulls is Stealth 2 Fairway and hits it 304 yards. It comes to rest greenside and an easy pitch leads to the fifth birdie in a row.
It almost seemed like salt in the wound, but the Scheff was cooking. His streak of impressive gameplay put him in a commanding position.
Coming down the stretch with a five-shot lead, the only obstacle standing in Scheffler’s way was the iconic par-3 17th and its island green. Scottie…INSERT WHAT HAPPENS.
With the win, Scheffler reclaims the World No. 1 ranking and shows that he’s in premier form as he gets set to defend his major championship title in Augusta next month.
NEED TO KNOW: SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER
- Led the field in driving distance (305. 9 yards) with Stealth 2 Plus Driver
- 2nd in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee (5.189)
- Third player in the last 40 years to record first and sixth PGA TOUR wins within 400 days of each other (recorded first career win 392 days ago at 2022 WMPO)
- Scheffler's win at THE PLAYERS marks the second consecutive PGA TOUR win for Stealth 2 driver and sixth across major professional men's and women's tours in 2023
- Scheffler’s second win with Stealth 2 Plus driver in 2023 and sixth overall with a TaylorMade driver (four with Stealth Plus)
- All six of Scheffler’s career wins have come with P·7TW irons and four of six with Stealth 2/Stealth 3-wood ·
- Joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players in history to hold Masters and PLAYERS titles simultaneously
- Converted the 54-hole lead for the third time in his career via a Sunday 69 highlighted by leading the field in driving distance with his Stealth 2 Plus 8.0° driver in the final round with an average of 308-yards.
- By the Numbers: For the tournament (68-69-65-69), Scheffler led in driving distance (305.9-yards), Greens in Regulation (75 percent), Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (17.7), Strokes Gained: Total (16.9) and was 2nd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (5.5).
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