SB Nation’s Playing Through nails Scottie Scheffler pick at The Players; Who’s Next?

Scottie Scheffler won The Players in dramatic fashion, overcoming an ailing neck and a five-shot deficit on Sunday to win by one.

Although the Playing Through crew did not envision how things would play out, they correctly picked Scheffler to repeat as Players champion—and becoming the first player in the tournament’s illustrious history to go back-to-back.

As staff writer Jack Milko wrote ahead of The Players:

Scottie Scheffler is playing in a league of his own, and I cannot pick against him. He leads the tour in scoring average, strokes gained overall, and strokes gained off the tee. He has hit 78% of his greens in regulation, also ranking at the top of the PGA Tour.

His recent play resembles prime Tiger Woods, and Scheffler will achieve something that not even Woods has done this week: repeat at TPC Sawgrass.

Last year, Scheffler gained a preposterous 17.274 total strokes, with only 0.107 of those coming on the greens. He played with a blade putter then, and Scheffler is currently one-for-one with his new mallet putter.

The 2022 Masters champion gained 4.347 strokes on the greens last week, ranking 5th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With his superior play tee-to-green, it is no surprise that he won convincingly.

As such, I like his hot putter to continue flexing its muscles at TPC Sawgrass, where Scheffler will become the first player to win back-to-back Players Championships.

Scottie Scheffler, Ted Scott, PGA Tour, The Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler and his caddy, Ted Scott.
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Getty Images

Added Savannah Leigh Richardson, who also picked Scheffler to prevail:

I think Scheffler goes back-to-back at TPC Sawgrass, entering himself into his own sphere among PGA Tour legends. Now that he has gotten a hot putter, it could get ugly for the rest of the field.

“I found a putter that I line up very well,” Scheffler explained Tuesday. “I wasn’t using it as trying to hit it perfectly each time or using it in anything else other than to try and help myself line up.”

Scheffler also removed the line from his ball ahead of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, which also paid dividends.

“It’s a lot easier to say, ‘Hey, it doesn’t really matter if you miss or make it, but at the end of the day, it matters a heck of a lot to me whether that putt goes in or not,’” Scheffler added. “But it’s about sticking to my process and controlling what I can control. That’s having a good attitude and hitting a good putt, and not using the line has helped a lot in that.”

Predicting the winner of golf tournaments is next to impossible, but two members of our team accurately picked Scheffler to win.

As the Florida Swing continues this week at the Valspar Championship, who do you think will win? Scheffler will not be there, so somebody else will show up in the winner’s circle on Sunday evening.

But could it be Justin Thomas or Jordan Spieth? Or maybe another first-time winner on the PGA Tour emerges.

You can check out Playing Through’s full betting preview of the Valspar Championship here.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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