Wrap: Scheffler Repeats, Tiger To Play Genesis
Masters champ defends in Scottsdale. Plus, Tour needs more free drop accountability, Tiger returns this week to prep for majors and a Genesis Invitational preview.
Scottie Scheffler defended his WM Phoenix Open title in the same event that jump-started his 2022 breakthrough season.
With a 6-under-par final round 65, Scheffler held off Canadian Nick Taylor for his fifth win and a return to the No. 1 in the world.
It was an oddly low-drama finale in an event that typically spoils us with wild finishes. But more wind than normal and a pretty fast TPC Scottsdale seemed to keep the players a bit more defensive. A $20 million purse might have been a culprit as well.
A few other notes:
Scheffler pockets $3.6 million in first place money thanks to the “designated” status.
He becomes the seventh player to successfully defend his title at the event and first since Hideki Matsuyama in 2017.
Scheffler led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and Scrambling.
He becomes the seventh player (eight occasions) to successfully defend WM Phoenix Open title.
Runner-up and two-time PGA Tour winner Taylor jumps to 73rd in the world after entering the WM ranked 223rd. He collects $2.2 million. Safe to say that’s his largest career check.
Jordan Spieth (T6) picked up his 80th top-10 finish in 242 PGA Tour starts and hit the best bunker shot his caddie Michael Greller has ever seen his man hit. Oddly, CBS did not have it on Saturday’s telecast but one of the 200,000 Zapruders in attendance caught it and Spieth Legion posted the clip:
2019 WM Phoenix Open winner Rickie Fowler continues to inch back into form with a T10. He aced the par-3 7th with a 6-iron from 216: