Scheffler back to world No.1 after runner-up showing
Returning world No.1 Scottie Scheffler has gotten so used to the putts he needs to make going in during his rise to stardom, when they don't, it's a surprise.
And during the final round of the PGA Championship, a little cruel, too.
While Scheffler put together a game charge during the final round on Sunday, his five-under 65 was tainted with what might have been, even after leapfrogging Jon Rahm to return to world No.1.
He watched a 16-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first hole spin around the hole before staying out. So did an eight-foot par putt on the ninth.
Those go in and maybe Scheffler tracks down the front-running Brooks Koepka. They didn't, evidence that the game can punish even the best in the world sometimes too.
Scheffler called the two lip-outs "the worst" he's ever seen. Yet in typically modest fashion, he declined to blame them on his inability to catch Koepka. He had 72 holes to try to beat his fellow American and even though he made fewer bogeys (seven) than everyone else in the 156-man field, he didn't.
"I gave the guys on top of the leaderboard something to think about, and I kind of made a little bit (of) a move, but Brooks just played some fantastic golf this week," Scheffler said.
The kind of fantastic golf that's become the norm for Scheffler over the last 16 months, a stretch that includes a victory at the 2022 Masters and multiple stints atop the world golf rankings, a spot that he returned to after draining a birdie on the 18th to assure himself of a tie with Viktor Hovland for second at seven under.
Not that Scheffler is constantly hitting refresh on his phone to check.
"It's an algorithm," he said with a laugh, adding "I don't play for world ranking. I play to come out here and compete.
"Right now, I'm a little sad that I wasn't able to get the tournament done, but I'm proud of how I fought, I'm proud of how I played the back nine today to give myself a chance."