Rozner: Scheffler goes low, wins playoff at Glen Club
Scottie Scheffler was eating a late lunch at about 3:30 p.m. when I informed him that Marcelo Rozo had bogeyed the 16th hole, thus dropping Rozo into a tie for first.
"Guess I better eat fast," Scheffler said with a laugh, "and go hit some balls."
He did both -- and then defeated Rozo on the second playoff hole with a 27-foot birdie putt to win the inaugural Evans Scholars Invitational at the Glen Club.
As if it needed yet another, a new young gun is headed for the PGA Tour.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Texan bombs it off the tee and he'll fit right in with the big boys when he graduates from the Web.com Tour in three months.
"It feels great," said the 22-year-old Scheffler. "I'm in a position now where I don't have to play every week, and not really think about anything else except trying to win for the next few events."
Most of the players on the Web are not as fortunate, and Scheffler understands the place he's put himself, where his livelihood does not rest on any given putt.
"If you're carrying it out there with you, it will really weigh on you over the course of the year," said Scheffler, who has also qualified for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. "There's really no time to worry about that. So just go out and play golf."
Starting the day 6 shots back, Scheffler caught fire on the back nine with birdies on 4 of the first 5 holes. He missed a 5-footer for bird on 16, a putt that looked like it would cost him the tournament.
But he came right back with a brilliant tee shot on the par-3 17th and made the 6-footer to get to 17-under and a tie for the lead.
Rozo took the lead again moments later with a bird on 15, but Rozo's bogey on 16 sent them both back to the 18th tee for extra holes after Rozo failed to pick up a shot at 17 or 18.
"I was hoping to get into a playoff," Scheffler said. "But you can only control what you can control."
They matched pars on the first playoff hole, but Scheffler rolled in his birdie putt the second time through on the par-5 18th, from nearly the same spot he missed his bird in regulation.
Lost in the celebration was Scheffler's course-record tying 63, as the wind finally stopped howling after three grueling days, and the players took full advantage.
No one more so than Scheffler, who stormed from ninth place to catch everyone and pass them all except for Rozo, whose 2 pars in the playoff weren't good enough for victory.
"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff at the start today," Scheffler said after shooting 9-under. "I wasn't hitting it too good, but I took advantage of the par 5s and a chip-in on 11 really got me rolling."
Scheffler's first professional victory followed a playoff loss to Robby Shelton earlier this month in Nashville -- when he rallied from 7 shots back -- his second-runner up this year to go along with seven Top 10s in 11 starts during his rookie year on the Web.
Yeah, the guy's pretty good.
He ranks No. 2 on the Web.com to Shelton, the 23-year-old Alabama native, who has a pair of victories and a pair of seconds this season.
Scheffler started the year No. 1,589 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and is now inside the top 200 midway through his first pro season.
But it speaks to the quality of play that as the leaders were making the turn, 17 players were within 3 shots of the lead.
"The guys out here are so good. The leader boards are so deep," Scheffler said. "There's so many guys who can win out here."
Sunday it was Scheffler's turn. It's not likely to be his last, though that is still to be determined.
What's certain is Scottie Scheffler is headed for the PGA Tour -- and he's got a chance to be a star.