Scheffler’s 25-foot birdie clinches WM Phoenix Open playoff
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler outlasted Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Cantlay on the third hole of a playoff Sunday in the WM Phoenix Open, making a 25-foot birdie putt that had just enough momentum to tumble in.
Cantlay missed an 11-foot birdie try after Scheffler holed his putt.
Scheffler birdied four of the final six holes for a 4-under 67 to match Cantlay at 16-under 268 at TPC Scottsdale on another sunny, 80-degree day. Cantlay, playing a group ahead of Scheffler, had a bogey-free 67.
Scheffler broke through in his 71st PGA Tour start. Before Sunday, the 25-year-old former University of Texas star’s biggest professional highlights were beating Jon Rahm in September in United States’ Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits and shooting a 59 in the 2020 Northern Trust.
Scheffler and Cantlay matched pars on the first two extra trips down 18, with both players hitting the fairway and green the first time and both scrambling to save par on the second.
Scheffler missed a chance to end it in regulation when his 5 1/2-foot birdie try slid right. On the stadium par-3 16th, he left a birdie putt 2 inches short.
Nine strokes back entering the weekend, Scheffler shot a 62 on Saturday to pull within two strokes of leader Sahith Theegala and get into the final group. Scheffler played the first 12 holes in even par Sunday, with four birdies and four bogeys, before the late charge.
The fourth-ranked Cantlay was making his first start in the event, adding it to his schedule only because he figured it would be easier to play three straight weeks instead of traveling back and forth from Florida between two of his favorite events in California.
The FedEx Cup champion nearly left with his third victory in his last six starts. On the 18th in regulation, he left a 9-foot birdie putt short.
Theegala, the rookie who took the lead into the day, lost a share of the top spot with a bogey on the par-4 17th after driving left into the water. The 24-year-old shot a 70 to tie for third at 15 under with 2021 winner Brooks Koepka (69) and Xander Schauffele (68).
RAS AL KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Ryan Fox of New Zealand overcame a rugged start by closing with a 3-under 69 for a five-shot victory in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic.
Fox opened with a 63 and took a six-shot lead into the final round at Al Hamra Golf Club, completing a wire-to-wire victory. It was his second European tour title, and first in stroke play. He also won the ISPS Handa Super 6 tournament in 2019 with a final round that concluded with six-hole elimination matches.
Fox previously won twice on the Challenge Tour and twice on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Ross Fisher closed with a 66 to finish alone in second.
It was the second straight European tour event at Al Hamra, following the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. The second event filled a void when the Qatar Masters was postponed because of travel restrictions.
KORN FERRY TOUR
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Brandon Matthew played the final three holes in 4-under par, making eagle on the final hole for a one-shot victory in the Astara Golf Championship.
Matthews finished one shot ahead of Ryan McCormick, who birdied the 18th for a 66, and Ben Griffin, who had a 68.
Matthews, who finished at 19-under 264, won for the first time on the Korn Ferry Tour. He had won each of the last two years on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
He is best remembered for his kindness at the Argentina Open in the fall of 2019, when he lost in a playoff after a fan with Down syndrome made a distracting noise. Matthews made it clear it was not the fan’s fault and gave him a signed glove. His gesture got the attention of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which gave him a sponsor exemption.
The victory moves Matthew to the top of the points list. The top 25 at the end of the year earn PGA Tour cards.
The Korn Ferry Tour, after two weeks in Panama and Colombia, goes to Florida next week.
Former Women’s PGA champion Hannah Green won the women’s division of the Vic Open by six shots after closing with a 1-under 71, while Dimitros Papadatos won the men’s tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and secured one of three spots in the British Open this summer. The Vic Open features men’s and women’s tournament at the 13th Beach Golf Links, playing in mixed groups. Ben Campbell and Matthew Griffin also earned places at St. Andrews. The qualifying spots were given to the Vic Open after the New Zealand Open was canceled. ... Alexander Knappe of Germany closed with a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Dean Burmester in the Dimension Data Pro-Am in South Africa. The tournament was co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour. ... Esther Henseleit of Germany won the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for the second straight time, closing with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory over Marta Sanz Barrio of Spain on the Ladies European Tour.