Scottie Scheffler leaves golf world stunned in $26 million 'choke'

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Scottie Scheffler consults with his caddy at the FedEx Cup.
Scottie Scheffler couldn't believe it after he forfeited a six-shot lead in the final round to Rory McIlroy at the FedEx Cup. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

A final round disaster for Scottie Scheffler at the Tour Championship in East Lake has coast the World No.1 the $26 million prizemoney for first place, with Rory McIlroy storming home to win.

McIlroy was able to seize his third FedEx Cup win after taking the lead with just two holes to play, after an agonising final round from Scheffler which saw him settle for a tie for second.

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Carrying a six-shot lead over the trailing McIlroy heading into the final round, Scheffler could muster just one birdie over 18 holes to card a final round 73, only to watch McIlroy fire 66 in his closing round to claim a remarkable victory.

Scheffler and McIlroy were grouped together for the final round, which began inauspiciously for the overnight leader with three bogies on the front nine.

Despite opening his round with a bogey of his own, McIlroy then ramped up the pressure on Scheffler by reeling off four front nine birdies, with another two on the back nine.

McIlroy's confidence rose as his window to a win opened further and further as the round wore on, particularly with Scheffler's short game looking shaky.

An impressive 32-foot putt for birdie on the 15th saw McIlroy draw level with Scheffler, and he then inherited the outright lead when Scheffler fired a bogey on the 16th.

A chance to draw level went begging for Scheffler on the 17th hole when he missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th, and from there it was game over.

“There’s one thing I want to say, I feel like Scottie deserves at least half of this today,” McIlroy said on the 18th green.

“He’s had an unbelievable season. I feel sort of bad that I pipped him to the post, but he’s a hell of a competitor, he’s an even better guy.

“It was an honour and a privilege to battle with him today and I’m sure we’ll have many more.

“I told him we are one-all in Georgia this year. He got the Masters and I got this.”

Scottie Scheffler rues 'little mental errors' after brutal defeat

For his part, Scheffler put his awful final round down to a series of 'little mental errors', but was quick to give praise to McIlroy for his excellent performance to steal victory.

“I really fought hard. Rory just played a really good round of golf," Scheffler said.

"He made some key putts there at the end and he definitely deserved to win."

McIlroy has now earned $US43 million ($A62m) for his three FedEx Cup victories. Tiger Woods (2007, 2009) is the only other player to have won it more than once.

Australia's Cameron Smith, the British Open champion reportedly on the verge of joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, finished 20th at nine under after his final-round one-under 69 while compatriot Adam Scott (70) was 25th at four under.

The gold world couldn't believe what they were seeing during Scheffler's final round.

Many took to Twitter to sympathise with the World No.1, but none could distract from the reality that was losing from the dominant position Scheffler was in.

Not only did Scheffler miss out on the $26 million winner's cheque, he lost out even more since he tied for second with Sungjae Im - increasing the difference between first and second place to some $17 million.

“I thought it was going to be really tough to make up," McIlroy said.

“But my good play and Scottie’s not-so great play, it was a ball game going into the back nine.”

With AAP

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