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Scottie Scheffler returns to No. 1 with PGA runner-up

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Scottie Scheffler returns to No. 1 with PGA runner-up

PLAYERS champ shoots final-round 65 at Oak Hill

    Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Scottie Scheffler won’t return to Dallas with the Wanamaker Trophy. But he will be the No. 1 player in the world when he tees it up Thursday in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge in neighboring Fort Worth, Texas.

    Scheffler returned to No. 1 with his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship. He also lessened the gap between himself and FedExCup leader Jon Rahm, who finished T50 at Oak Hill.

    Scheffler held a share of the PGA Championship’s 36-hole lead but said he struggled with his swing at the start of Saturday’s rainy third round, making bogey on four of his first seven holes en route to a 73 that dropped him four shots behind Brooks Koepka.

    Scheffler rebounded with a 65 on Sunday that matched the low round of the day. He was rued two lip-outs on the front nine that proved to be the margin between him and Koepka. He called them “two of the worst lip-outs I have ever seen.”

    “The balls were trickling, and I thought I was ready to take a step like they were going in,” he said. “One horseshoed at trickle pace, and the other one lipped out and stayed about an inch from the edge.”

    Scheffler started the final round with six consecutive pars before making six birdies and just a single bogey, at the ninth hole, the rest of the way. Four of those birdies came in his back-nine 31.

    “I put up a good fight and I’m proud of how I played,” said Scheffler.

    This was Scheffler’s 14th consecutive finish of 12th or better on the PGA TOUR, including wins at THE PLAYERS and WM Phoenix Open. He has finished in the top 10 in eight of the past 11 majors. This was his second runner-up in a major, as well. He also finished second in last year’s U.S. Open.

    At the PGA Championship, he ranked in the top six of Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (1st), Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (2nd), Driving Distance (2nd), Driving Accuracy (4th), Greens In Regulation (3rd) and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green (6th). He also was 35th in Strokes Gained: Putting, gaining nearly 1.5 strokes on the greens. That was a positive sign after recent putting struggles.

    “This week I hit tons and tons of good putts. I felt like my putting inside of 10 feet this week was significantly better than it has been in the past,” he said. “I feel like I'm starting to feel some results from the stuff that I've been working on for a while, which is always nice. A lot of solid putts, especially pressure putts this afternoon.

    “I hit a lot of good putts. I can start feeling the ball coming off the blade again the way I want to, which is nice, and so definitely some confidence going into next week.”

    THE PLAYERS is made possible with the support of its Proud Partners: Grant Thornton, Morgan Stanley and Optum.

    Sean Martin is a senior editor for the PGA TOUR. He is a 2004 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Attending a small school gave him a heart for the underdog, which is why he enjoys telling stories of golf's lesser-known players. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.

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