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Scottie Scheffler wins the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational

2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Colt Knost and the other PGA Tour pros that called Royal Oaks Golf Club in Dallas home used to call Scottie Scheffler their little shadow.

Every chance he could he’d flip over a range ball bucket and watch renowned instructor Randy Smith give lessons to the likes of Knost, Hunter Mahan, Harrison Frazar, Justin Leonard, and Martin Flores and he absorbed all this knowledge on how to play the game.

“He’s like a sponge,” Smith said.

Scheffler, 26, soaked up what it took to be a winner, too. In the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he shot an even-par 72 at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando to claim the title by a stroke.

On a warm, sunny day that baked greens to a yellowish shade of split pea soup, scores soared in a frisky, fickle wind that puffed about the course, nudging golf balls in various directions. It was survival of the fittest and Scheffler’s steely 5-under 283 total was just enough to edge the trio of Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Billy Horschel.

“I feel punch drunk,” said 2018 API champion Rory McIlroy after a 76 left him T-13. “The weekend, it’s like crazy golf.”

He wasn’t exaggerating. Only four of 77 players in the field managed to break par in the final round while 18 signed for 78 or higher, including Troy Merritt who ballooned to an 87. The field combined to shoot 266-over par on Sunday for the highest scoring average in a round (75.5) at this event since 1981. It also marked the highest finish by a winner of a non-major on Tour since Jon Rahm shot a 75 at the 2020 Memorial Tournament. Scheffler’s 5-under par 72-hole total was the highest in relation to par since Rahm won the 2020 BMW Championship at 4 under. And Scheffler’s 283 aggregate is the second-highest winning score on Tour since the start of the 2014-15 season, behind the 284s from Tyrrell Hatton at the 2020 API and Danny Willett at the 2016 Masters. In other words, Scheffler, who calls Dallas home, needed to be Texas tough to get the job done. It was a performance that showed off his grit and gumption. Meredith Scheffler called her husband a fighter.

“I mean, did you watch today, I guess?” she said. “That was a really good example.”

Scottie Scheffler celebrates a par putt on the 15th green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 06, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

He needed to be tough over the final 36 holes…


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