Scottie Scheffler wins Hero World Challenge; Tiger finishes even par

Scottie Scheffler of the United States talks to tournament host Tiger Woods after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023 in Nassau
Scottie Scheffler of the United States talks to tournament host Tiger Woods after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023 in Nassau
Image: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler shot a 4-under 68 in Sunday's final round of the Hero World Challenge to cruise to a three-shot win in the exhibition tournament at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas.

The annual, unofficial tournament that benefits Tiger Woods' charitable foundation saw Woods return to competitive golf for the first time since April.

Woods shot an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish even-par 288 for the event, placing 18th out of 20 golfers. It was his first competitive golf since undergoing ankle surgery eight months ago.

“I haven't (competed) with my ankle the way it is now and I was excited each and every day to kind of get through it and kind of start piecing rounds together again,” Woods said. “I haven't done this in a long time so it was fun to feel that again.

“Every day I got faster into the round. The first day took me a while to get a handle on it, the second day was faster, and today was right away. And that's eventually when I play on a regular basis, that's normally how it is. It takes me usually during warm-up before I get a feel for the round. To be honest, that first day took me a while.”

On Sunday, Woods recovered from a double bogey at the par-3 second with birdies on three of the next four holes. He also managed consecutive birdies at Nos. 14-15, but his card was held back by bogeys at Nos. 8, 11 and 16.

Woods, 47, completed his first tournament since withdrawing from the Masters in April. He said he's using this week as a “Beta test” to see what he needs to do to be able to compete over 72 holes across four days.

The 15-time major champion is aiming to compete in one tournament a month going forward.

“I think that I can get into the rhythm of it,” Woods said. “I think that having a couple of weeks off to recover, a week to build up, there's no reason I can't get into that rhythm. 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.”

As for Scheffler, who made two eagles during Saturday's third round, he posted four birdies and no bogeys on Sunday to finish the event at 20-under 268.

“It was more of make them come and catch me kind of day,” Scheffler said. “I did a really good job of not trying to force things, not trying to do anything outside my comfort zone. I just played solid most of the day and made two good birdies on 14, and 15 and then finished it off nicely.”

It was Scheffler's first victory anywhere since The Players Championship in March.

“I think I'm proud of how I played this year,” he said.

“I think the consistency was as good as it's been in my whole career. Yeah, I'm very proud of the stuff that I was able to accomplish this year. The win in Phoenix was great, knocking off The Players was wonderful as well and coming here and getting a win this week feels great. Great way to finish off the year.”

Sepp Straka of Austria had a final-round 64 to place second at 17 under. Justin Thomas shot 67 to finish in third at 16 under, and Tony Finau (67) and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick (70) tied for fourth at 15 under. — Field Level Media



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