Scheffler goes back-to-back in Phoenix, returns to World No. 1 status
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
Just 12 short months ago, Scottie Scheffler was fresh off an outstanding rookie debut at the Ryder Cup and searching for his first PGA TOUR victory at the WM Phoenix Open. He’d find that win in the desert, and then go to tack on three more victories in short succession, including a major championship at Augusta, before finishing the 2022 season as PGA TOUR Player of the Year.
Fast-forward to 2023 and its déjà vu all over again, but this time a win at the People’s Open comes with an added bonus – a return to the No. 1 spot in the OWGR rankings.
And while the spoils of victory are sweet, the top spot didn’t come easy – despite holding the 54-hole lead, Scheffler had to fight off a number of final-round charges from the field. This included red-hot Jon Rahm, who has opened the season with five consecutive top-10s, and Canada’s Nick Taylor who leverged a back-nine Sunday surge to notch his first runner-up finish in his TOUR career. Scheffler gave both credit when discussing the win post-round.
“Jon's playing some of the best golf in the world right now,” Scheffler said. “Nick's a fantastic player and a proven winner out here. There were some other names on the leaderboard like Jordan and Xander. There were a lot of guys up there. I knew it was going to take a great round. Nobody was going to give this golf tournament to me. I had to go out and earn it.”
Nobody was going to give this golf tournament to me. I had to go out and earn it.
With the win, Scheffler becomes the seventh player to successfully defend his title at the event, and the first since Hideki Matsuyama in 2017 (source: PGA TOUR Communications).
Scheffler remains at the top of the Ryder Cup U.S. Team Rankings, extending his lead by almost 5,000 points over fellow 2020 teammate Justin Thomas, who leaped Will Zalatoris to move into the No. 2 position after a solo fourth showing this week.
Xander Schauffele rose four spots to 8th in this week’s Rankings, while Sam Burns leapt into the Top 12 moving rom 21st to 11th, following a T6 finish in Phoenix. Other notable movement includes past Ryder Cuppers Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler moving up the board, now sitting at 13th and 23rd, respectively.
U.S. Team Captain Zach Johnson first announced the 2023 qualifying structure last year. Points in 2023 are awarded as follows:
- 1 point per $1,000 earned at regular PGA Tour events beginning January 1, including the Zurich Classic and WGC events, through the BMW Championship (August 20)
- 2 points per $1,000 earned for winner of the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- 1.5 points per $1,000 earned for all others that make the cut at the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- No points available at PGA Tour opposite-field events
Points qualification will conclude immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 20, 2023, with the top six eligible players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.
The six remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain’s Selections and will be announced by Johnson following the 2023 Tour Championship.
For a full list of the Top 100 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, click here.