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Scheffler Wins Memorial Tournament, Breaks PGA Tour Earnings Record

Main image to the post Scheffler Wins Memorial Tournament, Breaks PGA Tour Earnings Record

Scottie Scheffler faced a challenging final round at the Memorial Tournament, but ultimately emerged victorious, securing his fifth win of the year. Despite a demanding Muirfield Village course that saw only six players break par, Scheffler held onto his lead, even though he never felt completely comfortable.

His final round score of 2-over 74 was his highest in nearly two years, highlighting the difficulty of the course. He started the day four shots ahead, but the pressure mounted on the back nine, where saving par felt like a significant accomplishment.

The 18th hole proved particularly tense. Scheffler and Collin Morikawa, who was trailing by one shot, both hit their approach shots into the rough. Both players chipped to within five feet of the hole, and Scheffler's successful putt secured the win. The force of his fist pump reflected the intensity of the final moments.

Adding to the specialness of the victory was a handshake with tournament host Jack Nicklaus and the opportunity to hold his month-old son, Bennett, at his first PGA Tour event.

Morikawa, who had played in the final group of both majors this year, kept pace with Scheffler, shooting a 71, the only player in the final 13 groups to break par. Adam Hadwin, who was in contention until the final three holes, finished in third place after closing with three consecutive bogeys.

Scheffler's win earned him $4 million from the $20 million purse, pushing his season earnings over $24 million, breaking the PGA Tour season earnings record. This achievement comes before June, highlighting the era of rising purses.

He also became the first player since Tom Watson in 1980 to win five times on the PGA Tour before the U.S. Open. Next week, Scheffler will head to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 as a strong favorite, having achieved a top-10 finish in his last 11 tournaments.

Morikawa's second-place finish earned him $2.2 million, strengthening his position in the race for the fourth spot on the American Olympic team for the Paris Games. Hadwin's third-place finish moved him ahead of Corey Conners for the second Canadian spot in the Olympics.

The world ranking after the U.S. Open will determine the final Olympic roster.

Scheffler's victory was a testament to his resilience and ability to perform under pressure. Despite missing birdie opportunities on the back nine, he made the crucial putt on the 16th hole, extending his lead to two shots.

The 17th hole saw Scheffler drop a shot, bringing Morikawa back within one shot. The final hole, known for its difficulty, saw Scheffler hold on to his lead with one last successful putt.

The win marked Scheffler's 11th career victory and 12th worldwide. He has consistently demonstrated his ability to close out tournaments, whether winning from a strong position or coming from behind. This victory, however, saw him nearly lose a four-shot lead, showcasing the challenges he faced at Muirfield Village.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09