Scheffler races to Players Championship win

Richard Heathcote/ Getty Images North America/ Getty Images via AFP

Scottie Scheffler ran away with the Players Championship title on Sunday and along with it took the number one world ranking and the PGA Tour's richest purse of $4.5 million.

It was another clinical effort from the  American, who carded a final round three-under 69 on a gusty afternoon in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for a commanding five-shot win over Tyrrell Hatton, who closed with a 65.

A winning total of a 17-under 271 brought Scheffler his sixth career title and second in his last four starts as the Masters champion signalled he is well prepared for next month's Green Jacket defence.

Scheffler becomes just the third player, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, to hold both the Masters and Players Championship titles at the same time.

Scheffler, who needed to finish in a tie for fifth or better to reclaim the number one spot from Jon Rahm, started the day two clear at the top of the leaderboard and got his round off to a slow start by going one-over through seven.

But the 26-year-old stepped on the gas through the turn by carding five consecutive birdies from the eighth to pull away from the field, opening up a six-shot advantage on Hatton, who was bidding to become the first Englishman to win golf's unofficial fifth major.

Scheffler took his second bogey of the day at the 14th but steered clear of trouble the rest of the way home, including at the TPC Sawgrass's infamous par-three 17th island green.

Like Scheffler, Hatton could not get much going on his first nine and reached the turn at even par.

But the Englishman caught fire after that and carded seven birdies, including five straight, to bring his round to a spectacular end.

Norway's Viktor Hovland (68) and American Tom Hoge (70), who carded the Players Championship record low round of 10-under 62 on Saturday, finished in a tie for third, seven shots behind at 10-under 278.

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