Golf

Scottie Scheffler wins Travelers Championship in a playoff as protesters storm 18th green

Scottie Scheffler wins Travelers Championship in a playoff as protesters storm 18th green

He had to survive a playoff and a wave of protesters at the 18th green at TPC River Highlands, but Scottie Scheffler put his brutal week at Pinehurst No. 2 behind him in the best way possible.

Scheffler beat Tom Kim in a one-hole playoff on Sunday afternoon to win the Travelers Championship in Connecticut. He posted a final-round 66, which dropped him to 22-under on the week, and then he quickly closed out Kim with a short par putt in the playoff to officially grab the win.

Scheffler is now the first player in PGA Tour history to grab six wins in a single season before July since Arnold Palmer did so in 1962.

A group of protesters stormed the 18th green on Sunday afternoon and let off smoke before Tom Kim forced a playoff with Scottie Scheffler in Connecticut. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Before the playoff even started, however, protesters stormed the 18th green in what was a very chaotic scene.

At least five people ran out around and onto the 18th green in a protest as the final group was walking up. The demonstrators, which later revealed themselves to be climate change activists called "Extinction Rebellion NYC" protesting the "worldwide danger of climate breakdown," started spraying smoke and powder everywhere.

No damage was actually done to the course, and security arrested and removed the group quickly. Red and white powder, however, remained on the putting surface as Scheffler and Kim finished the hole.

"I mean, I was scared for my life," said Akshay Bhatia, who was playing in the final group with Scheffler and Kim. "I didn't even really know what was happening. All of a sudden, four, five people come running on the green … I was in shock and my heart rate was high. It got low and then once that kind of happened I was just freaked out, I just tried to get over where everyone was. It was hard to do it, I think it was just weird."

Scheffler entered Sunday a shot back of Kim, who survived a long rain delay on Saturday and fired a 5-under 65 to take the 54-hole lead.

Scheffler started the final round slow, and joined a four-way tie for the lead at one point on the back nine, but he finally pulled ahead of everyone down the stretch. Scheffler carded three straight birdies, and just barely missed an eagle look at the short par-4 15th, to jump ahead of the pack.

Kim had plenty of looks to match Scheffler at the top in the final three holes, but he stumbled putting multiple times — including at the 16th green when he left a great birdie putt short and bent over immediately out of frustration. Kim sent his birdie putt at the 17th flying past the hole, too, which allowed Scheffler to head to the final hole with his one-shot lead after a textbook par of his own.

Finally, though, Kim had his moment. Kim, after Scheffler’s approach at the 18th landed in the fringe off the green, nearly dunked his shot from the middle of the fairway. That set up a final birdie, which eventually forced the playoff.

Kim and Scheffler played the 18th hole again as scheduled for the playoff after the disruption, though tournament officials moved the cup to a new spot on the green as a result of the protest.

Even though Kim made it interesting, Scheffler made quick work of the playoff. He stuck his approach within a few feet of the cup while Kim, who hit a great drive, landed his second shot in the greenside bunker. He was unable to get it up and down for par. That sealed the deal for Scheffler, who easily walked away with his par for the win.

The win is just the latest in what’s been a truly dominant season for the top-ranked golfer in the world. He’s now won 12 times in his career on the PGA Tour, half of which have come in 2024. He hasn’t missed the cut anywhere since 2022, and he has just two finishes outside of the top-10 in 15 starts this season.

"It's pretty special. It's been a great season, I've been fortunate to come away with some wins and it's been a lot of fun," Scheffler said on CBS while holding his newborn son, Bennett. "Tom, Tom played his heart out today. He's a great player, a great champion. It was fun battling with him today."

Scheffler’s victory this week came after an uncharacteristic stumble at the U.S. Open last week at Pinehurst. Scheffler finished 8-over in North Carolina and T41 at the third major championship of the season in what was his worst finish since October 2022.

Kim has won three times in his career, most recently at the Shriners Children's Open last year. His runner-up outing on Sunday was his best finish this season, and his second top-10 run in his last four starts.

Tom Hoge, who fired a career-low 62 on Sunday, finished in third with Sungjae Im at 20-under for the week. Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas and Akshay Bhatia tied for fifth at 18-under.

Scheffler is now expected to take a break until the British Open next month, which is set to start on July 18 at Royal Troon.

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