The Players: Scottie Scheffler still wants to improve after securing No 1 return with TPC Sawgrass victory | Golf News
Scottie Scheffler still looking to improve after winning The Players by five shots and returning to world No 1; 26-year-old says collapse at last year’s Tour Championship made victory at Sawgrass “much sweeter”; Jordan Spieth expects compatriot’s form to continue for long time to come
Last Updated: 13/03/23 12:36am
Scottie Scheffler offered an ominous warning to his rivals by saying he is still hoping to improve after romping to victory at The Players.
Scheffler, whose win at Sawgrass saw him replace Jon Rahm as world No 1, finished five shots ahead of England’s Tyrrell Hatton as he claimed his sixth win in the last 13 months.
The 26-year-old’s trophy-laden year has included triumphing at The Masters at Augusta National last April and twice winning the WM Phoenix Open.
He said: “I’m just hoping to improve. I’m just trying to get a little bit better at a time, not overthink things and fortunately, I’ve been able to see some good results and enjoy some wins.
“I think I’m just comfortable with where my game is. I feel like I’m improving. I’m definitely learning more and more the more I get into contention. I would say I maybe am a bit more comfortable knowing what I need to do.
“I get excited for a good hard test. I feel like that I can find a way to make pars and hang in there. I like the challenge of harder golf courses. This tournament feels like a major championship to me.”
Scheffler squandered a six-shot lead with one round remaining at last August’s Tour Championship and says that disappointment makes his victory at The Players “much sweeter”.
Scheffler added: “It’s a really hard sport. I had put myself in a position all year to where I had a chance to win the FedExCup, and I wasn’t able to get it done. By the time I got home, I was worn out.
Scheffler: Defeat at Tour Championship left me ‘drained’
“I was mentally and physically drained, emotionally drained. East Lake was pretty challenging for me to handle.
“It was obviously very sad and hard and I didn’t expect things to finish that way. But the hard times make the good times that much sweeter.”
On his success, Scheffler added: “I never really thought that much of myself. I always just tried to stay in my own little bubble. I just keep trying to get a little bit better. I never really looked too far ahead.
“I did a good job of being a good junior, then I was a pretty good college player, then I played good on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“I always believed that I could make it out here and play well on the PGA Tour but I never expected it. It’s kind of hard to describe the feeling.”
Jordan Spieth, who finished tied 19th at Sawgrass on six under par, does not expect Scheffler’s form to dip any time soon.
He said: “I play against [Scheffler] a lot at home and consistently he’s shooting really low rounds. He’s arguably the best player in the world right now. His golf is pretty incredible. His top 10s are off the charts. He’s just playing that good.
“He’s extremely grounded. He’s got really good parents, a great family structure. [Scheffler’s coach] Randy Smith’s been around for a long time, been with him forever.
“I don’t see it changing. He’s in a good position to be able to continue to do this for a while.”
Watch more PGA Tour action live on Sky Sports Golf from Thursday as The Valspar Championship begins in Florida. Early coverage starts at 11.30am.