Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
Scottie Scheffler might owe Greg Norman and LIV Golf a small debt of gratitude.
Last August, the PGA Tour announced a number of changes including increased purses for “elevated tournaments” amid its war with the LIV series. The Players Championship saw its overall purse climb from $20 million to $25 million as a result.
Thanks to that, Scheffler netted a cool $4.5 million with Sunday’s victory, which adds to the $28.1 million he had already earned for his career. He’s now among the top 50 earners all time on the PGA Tour, moving ahead of Henrik Stenson for No. 46.
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Scheffler shines at Sawgrass 🏆<br> <br>The new World No. 1 wins <a href=”https://twitter.com/THEPLAYERSChamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@THEPLAYERSChamp</a> by FIVE. <a href=”https://t.co/6NLYA6nXus”>pic.twitter.com/6NLYA6nXus</a>
Scheffler held a two-shot lead over Min Woo Lee when he entered the final round, and the 2022 Masters champion was a model of composure throughout the day.
It probably helped that he didn’t get much of a challenge from the rest of the field.
Tyrrell Hatton surged up the leaderboard after carding a seven-under 65, but that was still only good enough to put him at 12 under for the tournament. The same was true for Viktor Hovland, who was six under through 54 holes and had too much ground to make up. Lee’s triple bogey on No. 4, meanwhile, effectively took him out of the title hunt.
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Triple bogey for Min Woo Lee.<br><br>He’s now three shots back <a href=”https://twitter.com/THEPLAYERSChamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@THEPLAYERSChamp</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/aftTneMzRn”>pic.twitter.com/aftTneMzRn</a>
A stretch of five straight birdies for Scheffler removed any drama surrounding the outcome.
The 26-year-old closed out the front nine with back-to-back birdies, which was a solid reply to Hatton’s blistering finish to The Players Championship. He widened his lead on Nos. 10 and 11, jumping five shots in front of Hatton.
Brent Martineau @BrentASJax
Four birdies in a row and Scottie Scheffler is lapping the field at The PLAYERS. No drama on a Sunday back nine at TPC Sawgrass – just a victory lap.
Scheffler boat race.
The next month could be a great time to be Scheffler’s accountant.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play tees off in Austin, Texas, on March 22, and the Masters gets underway April 6 at Augusta National Golf Club. Scheffler is the defending champion in both events, having netted $4.8 million combined from the two events.
Even assuming he fails to successfully retain his title in either tournament, winning The Players Championship could kick off a lucrative spring slate.