Scheffler’s PLAYERS title defence provides much needed drama

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Scottie Scheffler continues to dominate on the PGA TOUR

In a season where interest seems to be declining in the PGA Tour after its star power has been   depleted by LIV Golf, 27-year-old, Scottie Scheffler’s title defence provided much needed drama at the PGA Tour’s flagship US$25 million Players Championship in Florida.

The defending champion’s final round 64 when he managed to finish one stroke clear of three chasers who agonisingly fell short by a whisker on the final green had TV audiences enthralled for a change. 

The trio of 2023 US Open champion Wyndham Clark, 2023 Open Champion Brian Harman, and Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele ended just a stroke back and Clark’s final 20 foot putt to force a playoff had all but disappeared into the cup before it popped back out, leaving him too one shot behind Scheffler at 19-under par.

Scheffler’s achievement extends beyond his victory at THE PLAYERS Championship. He joins an elite group of golfers, including Tiger Woods, as one of the few players to win this championship just a week after triumphing on the PGA Tour. Additionally, Scheffler’s triumph marks him as only the fourth player in history to conquer both Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass in the same season, joining the esteemed company of Tom Kite (1989), Woods (2001,2013), and Jason Day (2016).

 

Just last week, Scheffler secured his second title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a feat he also accomplished in 2022. Such dominance has been a rarity since the days of Tiger Woods, when fans could almost predict the outcome whenever Tiger competed. Scheffler’s current resurgence, sparked by his decision to change his putter, has reignited the enthusiasm of fans.

RELATED: Scheffler ends putting vows with new mallet putter 

Television viewership, which had been declining due to the departure of top players like Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka to LIV Golf, has experienced a resurgence.

Scheffler’s regained form is welcome news for fans, viewers and bettors eagerly awaiting The Masters next month, the first major of the season. The defending champion of The Masters is the former World No.1, Jon Rahm, who now competes on the LIV Golf Tour.

With both LIV Golf and PGA TOUR players competing only in the major championships,  they have taken on an unofficial “LIV vs. PGA TOUR” dynamic, which promise to captivate viewers who once disapproved of players who joined LIV Golf.

The PGA Championship in May promises to be particularly intriguing, with Brooks Koepka, captain of Smash GC on LIV, defending his title.

Scheffler’s rise to prominence suggests that the PGA TOUR can provide drama, especially with the presence of Rory McIlroy, who along with Scheffler has inherited the mantle of the major attractions on tour after Tiger Woods’s departure due to his multiple injuries. 

 

 

 


Photo – Golfweek


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