The Players Championship: Scheffler not thinking about world number one as he sets sights on glory

By Sports Desk March 12, 2023

Returning to world number one will not be on Scottie Scheffler's mind on Sunday when he sets about adding The Players Championship to his already glowing resume.

Scheffler is in position to triumph at TPC Sawgrass, last year's Masters champion heading into the final day at 14 under par, giving him a two-stroke lead over Australia's Min Woo Lee.

In a turbulent era for golf, Scheffler, along with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, have provided continuity. Since Rahm took the number one spot for the fourth time in July 2021, he, Scheffler and McIlroy have shared the ranking between themselves.

Rahm deposed Scheffler as world number one last month but, with the Spaniard pulling out of the Players through illness and McIlroy missing the cut, Scheffler will return to the summit with a top-five finish at Sawgrass.

But asked about that potential achievement, Scheffler told a press conference after his third round: "I think the ranking is just an algorithm.

"For me, I would much rather win the tournament than get back to number one in the world.

"So that will be my focus going into Sunday is just going out and having a solid round of golf, and the rankings will be the rankings.

"It's tough to rank professional golf, and the OWGR has done a good job of that over long period of time, but at the end of the day for me, it's just an algorithm, and I'm going to go out there to try and win the golf tournament."

Looking ahead to the final round, Scheffler said: "I think the conditions are going to be pretty tough.

"From what I saw, it's going to be pretty gusty winds in the afternoon, so it should be a good challenge."

His main competition may come from Lee, who does not have a PGA Tour win since joining in 2019, his sole two professional triumphs coming on the European Tour.

Lee has made only five major appearances but finished in the top 30, including a tied-14th finish at The Masters, in three of the four last year.

"He's very, very talented," Scheffler said of Lee. 

"I don't know how much y'all may know about Min Woo, but I've heard about him for a long time and he's a very talented player."

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