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WiretoWire: Scheffler Shines at Hero

Scottie Scheffler wins Tiger-hosted Hero World Challenge

After finishing runner-up at back-to-back Hero World Challenges in 2021 and 2022, the third time was the charm for Scottie Scheffler. The world No. 1 carded a 20-under 268 in Albany, Bahamas, for a three-stroke win over Sepp Straka at the TOUR’s first Challenge Season event of the year. (The Tiger Woods-hosted Hero offers Official World Golf Ranking points but not FedExCup points.) Scheffler began the final round with a three-stroke lead and kept the field at arm’s length with a closing 4-under 68. He was bogey-free on Sunday and made just one bogey across the final 36 holes. It’s a fitting year-capper for Scheffler, who recorded 17 top-10s in 23 TOUR starts this season, including victories at the WM Phoenix Open and THE PLAYERS Championship. He took some time off after the Ryder Cup, but there were no signs of rust in the Bahamas. “I think it’s great momentum … a warm-up for the (2024) season,” Scheffler said. “I was refreshed and ready to go, and it was a good lesson for me about the value of rest.” He’ll enjoy some more holiday rest before returning to action at The Sentry in January.

Tiger encouraged in return, eyes monthly schedule in 2024

After undergoing ankle surgery in April, Tiger Woods returned to competition at the Hero World Challenge for his first start since withdrawing from the Masters during the third round. As always, the pre-tournament chatter was rampant: How would Woods’ swing look? Could he still generate ample speed? Could he walk 72 holes without hindrance? The returns were mostly positive, as Woods finished at even-par 288 at the Hero; it was well off Scottie Scheffler’s winning 20-under total, but the significance was more big-picture. Woods averaged 305 yards off the tee and ranked fourth of 20 players in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee; speed was no issue. The competitive rust was apparent around the greens, but that should improve in time. Earlier in the week, Woods revealed a goal of playing one tournament a month in 2024. Afterward, he reaffirmed that goal, meaning the golf world could be in for an ample dose of Tiger tracking next season. “I think that I can get into the rhythm of it. I think that having a couple of weeks off to recover, a week to build up, there’s no reason why I can’t get into that rhythm,” Woods said Sunday. “It’s just a matter of getting in better shape basically. I feel like my game’s not that far off, but I need to get in better shape.”

Mixed-team play on tap at Grant Thornton

The Grant Thornton Invitational, debuting Dec. 8-10 at the Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida, marks the first mixed-team co-sanctioned event between the LPGA and PGA TOUR since John Daly and Laura Davies won the final JCPenney Classic in 1999. A 32-player field evenly composed of PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour professionals playing on 16 mixed teams will compete for an equal purse of $4 million. With a unique format on tap and 16 teams featuring global TOUR stars like Ludvig Åberg, Justin Rose, Ricker Fowler and Jason Day, plus some of the LPGA Tour’s best like Player of the Year Lilia Vu, four-time 2023 winner Celine Boutier and rookie sensation Rose Zhang, the excitement for this inaugural event is at an all-time high.

Source : PGA Tour