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Scottie Scheffler is the world’s No.1 golfer once again.

The 26-year-old successfully defended the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale to supplant Rory McIlroy at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

He closed with a six-under 65 to finish on 19-under-par and win by two from Canada’s Nick Taylor, with Jon Rahm three shots further adrift in third.

The win is the fifth PGA Tour title of Scheffler’s career and his first since he claimed The Masters last year. 

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It moves him back to world No.1 for the first time since the end of October when he was knocked off the perch by McIlroy.

“It’s definitely good to get a first win of the year,” said Sheffler. “I’ve given myself a decent chance a few times, so it’s definitely a lot of fun to kind of get this one done, especially in the fashion that I did it, with those guys both playing great golf. 

“Me just kind of being able to extend myself there a little bit at the end and make some key putts was definitely a lot of fun.”

Ominously – and despite closing with a 65 to win – Scheffler admitted afterwards that he hadn’t been at his best in his title defence.

“I hit some wild shots off the tee that were pretty uncharacteristic for how I usually shape the ball,” he added. “I was just able to grind it out and make a lot of putts. I think I only had two bogeys this week, which is really, really good around this golf course. So I’m proud of that with my short game and putting.

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“I knew going into today it was going to be a tough day. Jon’s playing some of the best golf in the world right now. 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. I was definitely proud of the result.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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