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Scottie Scheffler cruises to 5-stroke win at The Players

Scottie Scheffler as he walks to the tee on 17 during third round action of The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Saturday, March 11, 2023. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

Credit: Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

Scottie Scheffler was mostly on cruise control on the way to a 3-under-par 69 in Sunday’s final round to win The Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Scheffler, who posted a 17-under 271, claimed the top prize of $4.5 million with a five-stroke advantage over Tyrrell Hatton of England at TPC Sawgrass.

Scheffler, 26, a former University of Texas golfer, is now the reigning champion of the Masters and the TPC. The only other golfers to hold those two titles at the same time were Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Hatton carded the day’s best round at 7-under 65. When he finished, he was within range of Scheffler, but only if the leader tanked down the stretch. Instead, Scheffler expanded his lead to six shots after reaching the round’s midway mark with a three-shot advantage.

Scheffler posted birdies on five consecutive holes (Nos. 8-12) to provide a comfortable working margin. That included a chip-in for a birdie.

Hatton had birdies on the last five holes as part of a 29 on the back nine. That was the lowest back-nine score for a final round in the tournament’s history.

Tom Hoge, who set a course record with Saturday’s 62, shot 70 and finished at 10 under for the tournament in a tie for third place with Norway’s Viktor Hovland (68).

Hideki Matsuyama (68) of Japan was fifth at 9 under.

Min Woo Lee of Australia was in the final pairing with Scheffler and was tied for the lead through 53 holes before a bogey on the last hole Saturday.

Lee slumped to a seven-way tie for sixth place by shooting 76 on Sunday, unraveling early with a triple-bogey 7 on the fourth hole. He made up ground with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 before another bogey on the last hole.

Alex Smalley checked in with a 74 and tied for 65th overall at 1 over, but his hole-in-one on the famed 17th provided some thrills.

–Field Level Media

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