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Scottie Scheffler leapfrogs Rory McIlroy to take World No 1 spot again

After all the expectations surrounding Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, it was Scottie Scheffler who came out on top at TPC Scottsdale.
 

In the raucous and intense atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale, Scottie Scheffler sent a reminder to Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm that he is still the man to catch as far as being World No 1 is concerned.

McIlroy believed he was the best player in the world ahead of the WM Phoenix Open, while Rahm has previously identified flaws with the ranking system after his rampant winning form on the PGA Tour.

Scheffler put on a gritty and determined display to stay atop the leaderboard throughout Sunday afternoon in Arizona, keeping Rahm and Nick Taylor at bay.

Scheffler admitted he didn’t like being ranked second in the Official World Golf Rankings ahead of the event, having been dethroned in October after holding the top spot for almost seven months.

The OWGR has come under intense scrutiny this season with points allocation and field sizes called into question. Rahm has won four of his last eight events worldwide, but still finds himself in third position.

The man from Texas first became World No 1 by defeating Kevin Kisner in the final of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play. He’d won the Arnold Palmer Invitational just three weeks earlier.

He surrendered the FedEx Cup to a resurgent McIlroy in August, a battle that now personifies the pair’s tussle in the current world rankings.

scottie scheffler

A big performance was arguably brewing for Scheffler who has now finished on 19-under-par, 22-under-par and 21-under-par in his last three starts.

This wasn’t only Scheffler’s fifth PGA Tour title, but his fifth win in the last 365 days and he has quietly reinforced his place as the circuit’s big-game player.

“It was a good fight out there. Jon played pretty good on the front nine. Then Nick played
pretty fantastic the whole day,” he said. “He was making a lot of putts. It was a good battle. It was a lot of fun.

“I was fortunate to come out on top this time. But definitely looking (forward) to going down the stretch with those guys more in the future.

“It’s definitely good to get a first win of the year. I hadn’t won since the Masters. 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.”

Scheffler needed a little help from his fellow World No 1 contenders at the weekend to return to the summit. Not only was the win crucial, but McIlroy finishing worse than solo second allowed Scheffler to leapfrog the Northern Irishman.

The Masters champion will certainly have Augusta National in his sights. It was his win at the Stadium Course 12 months ago that began the hot streak which culminated in him slipping on the Green Jacket in April.

The dynamic at the top of the rankings is extremely exciting with Scheffler, McIlroy and Rahm being the three main protagonists at the moment.

23 of the top 25 players in the world will compete at the Genesis Invitational this week and with the return of Tiger Woods too, we can expect more excitement and perhaps more movement at the top of the rankings.

Is Scottie Scheffler the best player in the world right now? Tweet me and let me know!

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