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Scottie Scheffler finally got his first victory of 2020.
It just didn’t come on the PGA Tour.
The 23-year-old Tour rookie held off final-round charges from fellow rookie Viktor Hovland and Korn Ferry Tour player Will Zalatoris to win the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational on Thursday at Maridoe Golf Cub in Carrollton, Texas.
“It’s always fun beating your friends,” Scheffler told GolfChannel.com.
Zalatoris and Hovland each teed off in the third-to-last group and posted 7-under 65s to get into the clubhouse at 8 under and 7 under, respectively. Zalatoris, the clubhouse leader for a moment, birdied four of his final eight holes.
But Scheffler, two groups back, didn’t fret. He hit the par-5 16th green in two and made an easy birdie, his third straight and fourth in five holes. Two closing pars capped a bogey-free 67 as Scheffler won by a shot at 9 under.
Scottie Scheffler holds off Will Zalatoris and Viktor Hovland to win at Maridoe. pic.twitter.com/vw0LQCQlsm
— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) April 30, 2020
“I had a good back nine,” Scheffler said. “I really wasn’t playing so well on the front but kept myself in the round, didn’t make any bogeys, and then was able to hit some good shots down the stretch and make a few birdies. I like winning a lot, so whatever it is, if we’re playing a money game or whatever it is, I’m nervous, so it felt pretty similar to any other time you’re trying to win.”
Scheffler is set to play when the PGA Tour makes its return in mid-June at Colonial Country Club, less than an hour from Maridoe. With four top-7s already this season, he is considered one of the two favorites to win the Tour’s Rookie of the Year Award, along with Hovland, who won in Puerto Rico earlier this year.
Scheffler donated his $9,000 first-place check to Maridoe’s caddie fund. In total, the fundraising event raised more than $20,000 for the loopers, who have been out of work since late March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Definitely glad to come out here and raise some money for a good cause,” Scheffler said. “There are a lot of people struggling right now, especially in our world, so it’s definitely good to come out and play, and hopefully [we’ll] get the economy going again soon.”
Tour pro Harry Higgs tied for fourth at 4 under with Oklahoma State rising senior Austin Eckroat, who was the highest amateur finisher, two shots clear of Texas rising sophomore Travis Vick.
Jordan Spieth played Thursday as a marker alongside Tony Romo and made a “hole-in-one” on the par-3 17th hole. Spieth’s ball actually hit the spacer in the hole on the fly and bounced out into the water.
“I’m going to count it,” Spieth said. “It was one of those ones where it would most likely have stayed in. … I’ve been shut out for a while, so hopefully this is a good omen.”