Scottie Scheffler Claims Waste Management Phoenix Open Epic
The final round at TPC Scottsdale didn't disappoint, with a thrilling finale concluding with a play-off win for Scheffler
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most exciting tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar and, in 2022, it certainly didn't disappoint, with an almighty tussle involving a number of the game's stars, producing a play-off between Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler.
With both men parring the first two play-off holes, it was Scheffler who eventually took the title and his first PGA Tour victory, with the 25-year-old holing a putt of some 30-feet to claim the spoils and an emotional maiden win.
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Starting the final round, it was Sahith Theegala who led the likes of Ryder Cup stars Brooks Koepka, Scheffler, Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. Through the first nine holes though, it was the PGA Tour rookie who was still holding firm over his much more experienced rivals.
In fact, eventual winner, Scheffler, found himself a few shots back following a mixed front nine of three birdies, three pars and three bogies. However, after yet another birdie and a bogey, the American soon ignited his round, with a trio of birdies at the 13th, 14th and 15th moving him just one back of Cantlay and Theegala.
It was Cantlay though who remained ahead and, looking for his third PGA Tour win in just his sixth start, he would have a great opportunity to cap off yet another superb performance. However, the American squandered a superb opportunity at the last to put the tournament to bed, with his birdie putt never looking like dropping.
Following the miss, the news didn't get much better for Cantlay, as it was revealed that Scheffler had just birdied the 17th. His heart would of somewhat dropped even further as well, after seeing his fellow countryman stick it to five-foot at the very last hole.
Scheffler though, who was yet to win on the PGA Tour, was showing some clear nerves, none more so than over his birdie putt for the win which, from short range, didn't even touch the hole as it raced by. Tapping-in, the Ryder Cup teammates were heading for play-off holes.
Sharing the first two holes with par, the duo moved to a third set and, following another pushed drive, it was advantage Cantlay, with the 29-year-old firing a laser-like drive down the centre of the fairway whilst Scheffler found the sand to the right of the 18th.
A good approach followed from the 25-year-old, but it was still advantage Cantlay, who put his wedge shot to 15-foot or so from the hole. Following an agonisingly missed putt in regulation play though, Scheffler was not ready to miss another opportunity, with his 30-foot putt never leaving the hole and eventually dropping in for a stunning birdie.
Now the weight of pressure was soon firmly on his opponents shoulders, and Cantlay, who is normally so reliable with his putting, would fail to reply, with his putt to extend the play-off burning the right edge of the hole and handing the victory to Scheffler.
The win signals the first in the American's career, and is all the more impressive considering that the 25-year-old had only made the cut in Phoenix by one shot!
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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