At the WM Phoenix Open, Scottie Scheffler won for the first time on the PGA Tour in his 71st career appearance. It only took two more wins to get win number two.
Scheffler won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by virtually outlasting the field. He made two spectacular par saves on Nos. 15 and 16 while the rest of the field ran off the rails on a challenging scoring day.
Scheffler came back strong after a shaky front-nine 37, with eight pars and a birdie on the par-5 12th, when he touched the green in two and two-putted.
“It was great,” said Scheffler. “I trusted myself and [caddie Ted Scott] as much as I have probably in any round. I did not swing the club well at all today off the tee and was hitting a lot of bad spots, but I just kept grinding and made some key putts towards the end and two great lie putts to finish off the round.”
Scheffler’s iron play helped determine the outcome on a course that was similar in difficulty to the US Open. With his Taylor Made P7TW irons and Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges, Scheffler led the field in strokes gained/approach-the-green despite negative strokes gained/off-the-tee for the week (he also uses a pair of Srixon utility irons for his 3- and 4-iron). On his approach shots, Scheffler beat the field by moreover eight strokes.
Because the P7TW irons are based on Tiger Woods’ irons, it’s fitting that they were in the champion’s bag. Woods has won the tournament eight times. Matching for the most wins in a single PGA Tour event.
Scheffler finished fourth in putts per green in regulation on the greens. But it was a couple of par-savers that made the difference. After a low punch shot failed to get out of the rough on the 15th, Scheffler utilized his Scotty Cameron prototype putter to hole a 21-footer for par.
He made a six-footer on the 16th hole after having to lay up with his third shot on par 5. Scheffler then sealed the deal with a stout two-putt from 69 feet on the 18th hole. It gave him the victory after Viktor Hovland and Billy Horschel both failed to birdie the hole.