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Two Tips From Scottie Scheffler’s Dominant Players Championship Victory at TPC Sawgrass

Scottie Scheffler plays his shot from the 17th tee during the final round on March 12 of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Well, doesn’t this feel familiar.

Scottie Scheffler — in similar fashion to 2022 — is on another heater, winning the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass by five shots over Tyrell Hatton.

Five strokes is just a handful but it really felt like the final round was all Scheffler — five straight birdies on Nos. 8-12 enabled cruise control through the gauntlet of TPC Sawgrass’ final three hole stretch, easing the tension of the big stage. A remarkable par on 18 was enough by Texan to win the $4.5million prize and his sixth win in the past thirteen months.

What’s been the key to his success and what can you use in your own game?
Lean on your “fairway finder”
If you want to score around TPC Sawgrass, hitting the fairway with your tee ball is absolutely critical — the tight corridors, penalizing bunkers and lurking water hazards do no favors to errant shots. Scheffler is No. Scheffler is No.

Try this the next time you’re in need of a good tee shot:

1. Place your ball on the opposite side of the teebox to where your shot normally begins. For a fade (right-handed) that’s the right side of the box, and for a draw, the left side. This allows you to curve the ball back into fairway with as much space as possible.

2. You can also lower the club so that the butt end is visible. This promotes control and even Scheffler does it when he’s looking for a fairway, usually with his low cut.

3. Finish your swing. A lot of golfers make their miss worse when they “cut off” their follow-through. Scheffler might shuffle through impact a little, but you’ve never seen him miss a complete swing. Once you’ve teed up, choked down and are ready to fire, think about the club moving through the ball and the shaft resting on the back of your neck after impact. That’s the true sign of a good finish.

Both green and yellow light flags are available
Scheffler was busy at The Players during the week. The stats back up his performance: He was number 1. 1 in Shots Gained – Tee to Green and Greens, Regulation.

Even one of the world’s best players knows when to back off attacking, however — case in point, No. 18 at TPC Sawgrass. That was a “yellow light” moment: Approach with caution. On other holes, Scheffler had the “green light,” and went into pin-seeker mode.

These are the cues you should remember in both cases:

1. Maintain your balance. If you feel the need for more club, get it. Solid strikes are made when rhythm, balance and timing are present. Swinging your feet is not the right way to go. Think about a “1-2” swing . . . “one” on the way back and “two” on the way through.

2. Figure out your “stock” shot. The one that you feel most comfortable with. Is it 75 percent with a little fade? A full swing with a low draw or a full swing? When you’ve got a little pressure, having a shot in your back pocket can make a world of difference.

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