Scheffler top of golf world after winning the Players
Scottie Scheffler has reclaimed golf's top ranking following a costly and dramatic collapse from Australian Min Woo Lee at the mega-rich Players Championship in Florida.
Scheffler romped to a five-stroke victory at the PGA Tour's $US25 million ($A38 million) flagship event after Lee frittered away a hard-earned share of the lead early in Sunday's final round at unforgiving TPC Sawgrass.
After starting the day two shots behind in outright second spot, Lee pulled back the deficit with a birdie on the first hole and a bogey from Scheffler on the third.
But that's when the West Australian unravelled.
He sensibly chipped out after finding the trees off the tee on the par-4 fourth, only to dunk his third shot into the water en route to a disastrous triple bogey.
"The worst wedge shot he's hit in five years," one-time PGA Tour player of the year Paul Azinger suggested in commentary.
Lee couldn't recover, racking up a double and three bogeys to eventually close with a four-over 76 and slip to a seven-way share of sixth after a multi-million-dollar mid-round meltdown.
While Scheffler pocketed a cheque for $US4.5 million ($$A6.8 million) - the tour's biggest ever - after capturing his sixth victory in 13 months, Lee was left with a $US736,600 ($A1.1 million) consolation pay day.
The 24-year-old Players Championship debutant at least birdied two of his last three holes, boosting his ranking enough to all but clinch an invitation back to Augusta National for next month's Masters.
"It happened really quick. It's one of those things where it's Sunday and you just make a couple bad decisions and it all kind of falls down," Lee lamented.
"But I hung in there pretty well. I didn't have it all today. It's funny how yesterday I felt like I had the best swing in the world, and then today I just felt like nothing could go right.
"So nice finish and I'm pretty proud of the result and I think it will take me a long way.
"It could have been a lot worse. That's for sure. It wasn't easy. I could have easily shot 10 over today."
Lee's fade-out allowed Cam Davis (74) to finish as the equal-leading Australian, having missed the halfway cut in his previous five tournaments.
"It was a great week for me," Davis said.
"I've had a bit of a rough stretch over the last five, six tournaments, so it's a very welcome change to see some good golf this week."
Fellow Australian Jason Day (72) continued his impressive return to form with share of 19th at six under.
But the spoils belonged to Scheffler, who not only banked a motza and regained the world No.1 ranking from Spanish superstar Jon Rahm but also etched his name alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as only the third player to win the Players while being the reigning Masters champion.
With a 17-under 271 total, the American was five shots clear of English runner-up Tyrrell Hatton, whose final-round-low 65 earned him $US2.275 million ($A3.43 million).
Viktor Hovland (68) and Tom Hoge (70) shared third at 10 under, one stroke clear of Hideki Matsuyama (68).
Max Homa (69), Justin Suh (70), Justin Rose (71), David Lingmerth (72) and Sungjae Im (72) all shared sixth with Lee and Davis.