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Scottie Scheffler rallies with front-nine 31 on Sunday, chases back-to-back PLAYERS titles

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    Written by Staff

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – No player has successfully defended at THE PLAYERS Championship. Scottie Scheffler, propelled by a hole-out eagle at No. 4 Sunday, looks to change that.

    Scheffler began Sunday’s final round at 12-under, five back of 54-hole leader Xander Schauffele, but the Texan gained two strokes at the tricky par-4 fourth hole, holing a wedge from 92 yards. He added an 18-foot birdie at No. 5 and back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9, draining putts from 16 and 11 feet respectively. He turned in 5-under 31, moving into a share of the lead at the time at 17-under with Schauffele and Wyndham Clark (both in the final group, playing No. 7 at the time).

    Scottie Scheffler holes out 92-yard eagle on No. 4 at THE PLAYERS

    Scheffler, world No. 1, entered the week on the strength of a five-stroke victory at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, setting the stage for his title defense at TPC Sawgrass’ PLAYERS Stadium Course.

    If Scheffler was slowed by neck pain – which required mid-round treatment Friday – it hasn’t reflected much in his scores, as he opened the 50th edition of THE PLAYERS with rounds of 67-69-68. The seven-time TOUR winner shared sixth place as the final round began in Northeast Florida, but he made up ground quickly on a picturesque Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.

    “I'm just battling, doing my best to just maneuver my way around the golf course, hitting shots,” Scheffler after Saturday’s third round, which he played with KT tape on his neck but didn’t receive on-course treatment. “Really just doing my best. That's about it.”

    His best is pretty good.

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