Scheffler outlasts protest for victory

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler won the Travelers Championship in a playoff on Sunday, waiting out a disruption by climate protesters on the 18th green and Tom Kim’s tying birdie on the last hole of regulation for his sixth victory of the year.

That’s the most wins in one PGA Tour season since Tiger Woods had six in 2009.

And Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked player, still has two months to go.

It was Scheffler’s fourth victory of the year in the tour’s $20 million, limited-field signature events, earning him a payday of $3.6 million. He also won the Masters and The Players Championship.

After a five-minute delay when six people stormed the 18th green and sprayed it with red and white powder, Scheffler left a 26-foot putt from the fringe on the edge of the cup and tapped in for par. That gave him a 5-under 65 and a four-day total of 22-under 258 at TPC River Highlands.

Kim then made a 10-foot birdie putt for a 66 to match Scheffler.

The hole location on the 18th was moved for the playoff to avoid the parts of the green affected by the protesters, at least one of whom was wearing a white T-shirt with the words “NO GOLF ON A DEAD PLANET” in black lettering.

Scheffler hit his approach in the playoff to 11 feet while Kim found a plugged lie in a greenside bunker. Kim’s blast from the fried-egg lie ran 36 feet past the hole, leaving Scheffler with an easy two-putt par for the victory.

Coming off a tie for 41st in the U.S. Open – by far his worst finish of the year — Scheffler trailed Kim by three strokes after the first round, by two after the second round and by one heading to the tee on Sunday.

Scheffler took a one-stroke lead over Kim with three straight birdies on Nos. 13-15 — he had putts for eagle on two of them.

While Tom Hoge signed for a 62 to finish at 20 under, and Sungjae Im joined him there, Scheffler and Kim matched pars over the next two holes to set up the surprising finish.

Scheffler and Kim share a June 21 birthday — Scheffler is six years older — and they celebrated with New Haven pizza before the tournament about 30 miles north. The birthday buddies and Dallas-area residents played together in the final group on Sunday, chatting and joking together. But only one of them could hold the trophy at the end.

And just like it’s been so often of late, it was Scheffler.

Kim said being in a pack of leaders with his birthday buddy allowed him to focus on his own game.

“You don’t need to worry about him, because he’s going to play well,” Kim said. “Obviously he’s a phenomenal player, world No. 1, all those titles. But at the same time for me he’s just Scottie Scheffler, he’s just a good friend.


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