Scottie Scheffler may have failed to add a second Major title to his name after finishing tied for second at last week’s PGA Championship, but it didn’t stop him moving back to the World No.1 position.
He appears in the Charles Schwab Challenge this week, hoping to build on that achievement at Colonial Country Club.
The 26-year-old’s finish at Oak Hill was the latest in a string of impressive performances in 2023, including victories in two of the year’s highest-profile tournaments to date, the WM Phoenix Open and The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
While Scheffler is looking put the disappointment of last week’s near miss in the past with victory here, the player who shared his finishing position in the PGA Championship had even more reason for despondency.
Scheffler trailed eventual winner Brooks Koepka by four going into the final round. That’s in contrast to Viktor Hovland, who needed to claw back just one shot on the LIV Golf player as they teed it up on Sunday.
At times, it had looked as though momentum was swinging in Hovland’s favour, too. However, disaster struck on the 16th when he failed to get a shot out of the bunker, which left Koepka and opening he took with both hands. Still, the performance was enough to see Hovland leap five places in the rankings to World No.6, and he’s the second-ranked player behind Scheffler this week.
It takes something special to steal the headlines from the eventual winner of a Major, but Michael Block managed just that. The club pro defied the odds to finish tied for 15th at the tournament, guaranteeing not just a raft of new fans, a handsome pay cheque, and a place in next year’s tournament, but also an invite to this week’s event. There will be plenty of attention on the 46-year-old as he attempts to prove those heroics, which included an outrageous slam dunk hole-in-one, were not a one-off.
Scheffler, Hovland and Block take big enough stories into the week, but that’s before we even get to the defending champion, Sam Burns, who beat Scheffler in a playoff in 2022. The American missed the cut at last week’s tournament but could barely have hoped for a better opportunity to get back on track after his victory a year ago.
Nevertheless, if overcoming the World No.1 and World No.6 isn’t enough, not to mention the potential for Block to cause another big upset, Burns also has to contend with the challenges of…
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