THE PLAYERS Gets Crowd-Pleasing Champion: Scottie Scheffler


If a guy could play golf in a 10-gallon hat and say, “Yup,” all the time, it would be Scottie Scheffler.  You half expect his golf shoes to be shaped like cowboy boots.

Even though he is not a native Texan, he has lived in Dallas for so long it’s almost like he was born there. You get that Big Texan feeling from him when he talks and walks.

He’s a big guy, six-foot three without his golf spikes. He’s a little reminiscent, appearance wise, of another Masters winner, Charlie Coody, but perhaps more good looking, although Coody was quite the heartthrob in his day.  

The thing people like about Scheffler is that he’s nice. Polite. The kind of guy you’d like to know, and that’s going to be a problem for the rest of his life.  Because he’s those things, people will flock to him. More people than he could ever imagine.  

“I'm just hoping to improve. I'm just trying to get a little bit better at a time, not overthink things and fortunately to be able to see some good results and enjoy some wins and I'm very thankful,” he said after winning.

Nobody says bad things about Scottie Scheffler. Well, maybe some of his opponents whisper a few oaths under their breath, but it’s just because Scheffler is beating them six ways to Sunday. It’s not because he’s a bad guy.  

He has now won six tournaments in 13 months, including The Players and the Masters. To say he’s on a roll is an understatement of understatements.  He’s bulldozing his way through the PGA Tour.  Humbly. Graciously.

His victory at The Players will give him the world No. 1 ranking again, taking it away from Jon Rahm. Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Scheffler have been rotating in and out of the No. 1 position over the last two years.   

Scheffler took over the No. 1 from Jon Rahm in March 2022 held it for 31 weeks. Then McIlroy took it from Scheffler last fall, in October.  Scheffler took it back on February 12th, but Rahm reclaimed it a week later. 

Rahm had to withdraw from The Players due to illness.  (One of his children was ill earlier in the week, and he probably caught it.) We will never know how Rahm might have played.  It’s likely he will be making a strong effort to reclaim the No. 1 title in upcoming weeks.  

Rahm has already won three tournaments this season, the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, the American Express in La Quinta, California, and the Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC in Los Angeles.

This is Scheffler’s second victory in 2023.

Several other golfers challenged this week with Min Woo Lee of Australia providing the toughest competition through three rounds.  However, Lee was not able to match Scheffler’s level of play at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday. 

In the end, Scheffler won by five shots over Tyrrell Hatton, by seven over Viktor Hovland and Tom Hoge, who shot a new course record on Saturday.

THE PLAYERS, Scottie Scheffler, 2023 champion, final round