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By : BGA
Scottie Scheffler wins his first PGA Tour title over Patrick Cantlay in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
In a thrilling finish to one of the best tournaments on tour now made famous by the 16th “party” hole, Scheffler needed 3 extra playoff holes to claim victory.
Tour rookie Sahith Theegala was the overnight leader and with the likes of Scheffler, Cantley, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka trying to chase him down.
Theegala who missed out on a fairy tale finish was a sponsored invite, $100 / 1 outsider and still lives at home with his partners had a chance to win the tournament until he got to the 17th, a drivable par 4. Playing just over 300 metres, Theegala hit a hybrid off the tee and it took the most unfortunate kick and ended up in the greenside water. That was a costly mistake that lead to a bogey which dropped him out of the lead.
“I thought I hit a great shot on 17,” Theegala said after closing the tournament with a one-under-par 70.
“It was cutting. As long as it’s another yard right, I think that’s perfect. Kick straight and it’s good. Kicked left into the water there.
“Then I was worried about the ball -- it was such a steep slope, I was worried about the ball kind of rolling back, so I may be rushed my process just a little bit there and hit a poor chip and hit a poor putt. I just didn’t hit the shots at the right time when it counted.”
Scheffler got off to a slow start with three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine. He got going and put himself into contention on the back nine with 3 birdies in a row from the 13th to the 15th and then another birdie on the 17th to put himself in a tie for the lead.
Cantlay had another solid performance with no bogeys throughout his round on Sunday and had 4 birdies to tie Scheffler at 16 under.
Scheffler holed a monster 26-foot putt for birdie after his drive found the bunker on the third playoff hole. His second found the front part of the green and he rolled it in for one of the biggest putts of his life.
“I’ve had a few putts on this green now. I started to have it figured out pretty good,” Scheffler said.
“It’s kind of a tricky hole location. This one we got a good read on it and it chased down nicely.”