Scottie Scheffler and Tom Kim toasted their joint birthday with a pizza party ahead of the Travelers Championship earlier this week. But on Sunday, it was the World No. 1 spoiling the party for his fellow birthday boy.

The final round of The Travelers Championship proved to be more of a test of will than skill. Luckily for Scheffler, he possesses both.

Used to lie-ins over the weekend, the World No. 1 suffered a rude awakening at the US Open last week. But Sunday, he was back to his regular scheduling. 11:15am: Tee off in the leading group. 4:50pm: Weekly trophy lift.

It’s a routine he’s now gone through six times this season, twice in three weeks, and four times at a PGA Tour signature event. The one new addition to the programme? A wild playoff shootout against his close friend.

Scheffler has a knack for emerging from a cluster of contenders. It’s a story we’ve seen play out at The Players Championship, The Masters and The Memorial already this year. And as he stood on the 18th tee with a one-shot lead, The Travelers Championship was set to follow the same storyline – until Kim tore up the script. 

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon

The World No. 1 beat out 54-hole leader Tom Kim in a sudden death playoff

The World No. 1 beat out 54-hole leader Tom Kim in a sudden death playoff

The World No. 1 beat out 54-hole leader Tom Kim in a sudden death playoff 

Kim, who turned 22 on Friday, had led wire to wire through the first three rounds but he appeared to be struggling to keep pace with Scheffler down the home straight. That is, until the 18th.

The rising star dialed a dart to ten feet of the hole. It was a lifeline, one last chance to tie Scheffler at 22-under and force a playoff. Even the climate protesters who stormed the green with paint bombs could only delay it, not prevent it. 

Unnerved by the disturbance, Kim rolled in the birdie putt for a four-under 66 and sent the World No. 1 to unfamiliar territory – back to the 18th tee.

A playoff, the ultimate test of will. Scheffler passed, Kim failed. The 22-year-old couldn’t replicate his do-or-die miracle as he found the greenside bunker, while Scheffler found the green. From there, the sense of inevitability descended over TPC River Highlands and washed away the excitement of an upset.

With his ball plugged in the sand, Kim could only blast it out to 36 feet of the pin and couldn’t roll in the testy par putt back. Meanwhile, Scheffler knocked his 12-foot putt close and a par was enough to see him over the finish line of the golfing marathon.

‘It was a great finish,’ Scheffler admitted. ‘This golf course produces a lot of those, you know, the exciting stuff coming down the stretch. So it was nice to be out there competing.’

‘It’s difficult, because part of me wants [Kim] to miss the putt and part of me wants him to make the putt, and then when I see him make bogey in the playoff hole, it hurts because that’s my friend and that’s not a great feeling,’ he added of facing off against his close pal.

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon

Scottie Scheffler won the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon 

The World No. 1 celebrated with his wife Meredith (right) and newborn Bennett

The World No. 1 celebrated with his wife Meredith (right) and newborn Bennett

The World No. 1 celebrated with his wife Meredith (right) and newborn Bennett

The two-time major winner is pictured with Meredith and his parents Diane and Scott

The two-time major winner is pictured with Meredith and his parents Diane and Scott

The two-time major winner is pictured with Meredith and his parents Diane and Scott

‘But he should remember that putt he made on 18 because it was pretty special and he’s a great player and a great champion. He’s got a habit of making those putts when it really matters. 

‘I think of a guy that young already winning three times out here and being the way that he is in the Presidents Cup. He’s got the right attitude to play out here for a long time and he’s only 22, which is just nuts.’

The PGA Tour’s final signature event of the season staged a box office thriller Sunday afternoon but by the time the curtain came down on TPC River Highlands, the finale that played out was ultimately an all too familiar one.

The baying Connecticut crowds packing the galleries demanded fireworks. Scheffler and Kim were only happy to oblige. The duo engaged in a wild shootout, parrying birdie blow for birdie blow before finishing at 22-under.

Yet, it was the patience, grind and obvious talent of the World No. 1 that won out with Scheffler claiming his sixth victory of the PGA Tour season in a sudden death.

It’s a victory that places him in good company. The list of players with six wins in a season is short. Since 1983, it’s been done nine times by just four people; Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Nick Price, and now Scheffler.

It’s also one that put him through his paces. Teeing off alongside overnight leader Kim, he and Akshay Bhatia were one shot back. From there, the game of chess began, TPC River Highlands the board as they matched one another move for move, strategically plotting their way around.

Who would pull ahead first? Who would crack first? It took 19 holes but the New Englanders finally got their answer as 54-hole leader Kim ultimately blinked first when it truly mattered amid the grueling mental challenge.

The 22-year-old sank a birdie putt at the last to tie Scheffler at 22-under and force the playoff

The 22-year-old sank a birdie putt at the last to tie Scheffler at 22-under and force the playoff

The 22-year-old sank a birdie putt at the last to tie Scheffler at 22-under and force the playoff

Protestors stormed the 18th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship

Protestors stormed the 18th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship

Protestors stormed the 18th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship

The fairway invaders, who appeared to be wearing climate change messages on their t-shirts, tossed red, white and yellow powder at the golf course

The fairway invaders, who appeared to be wearing climate change messages on their t-shirts, tossed red, white and yellow powder at the golf course

The fairway invaders, who appeared to be wearing climate change messages on their t-shirts, tossed red, white and yellow powder at the golf course

After leading wire to wire through the first three rounds, a $3.6 million check would have been the perfect gift to wrap up Kim’s birthday weekend but his close friend proved to be the party pooper.

‘It’s my eighth week in a row and it’s just nice to know that the hard work kind of really does come to life,’ Kim said following his round. ‘Yes, it would have been super sweet if I won, but it still doesn’t change who I am.

‘If I win I’m still going to go next week and prep the best I can. If I don’t win, tomorrow I’m going to wake up, try to prep the best I can for the next event. It doesn’t change me and I feel like this year has been a lot of learning.

‘I am who I am, 10 wins on the PGA Tour, zero wins on the PGA Tour, it’s not going to change me.

‘I was really close to wire-to-wire finish, that would have been awesome, but it just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll have my chances.’

Meanwhile, after bolting to a 59 in Saturday’s third round, Cameron Young admitted that he needed to ‘shoot another low one,’ if he were to cling to the coattails of Kim and co. Through Sunday’s front nine, he looked on course to do just that.

The 27-year-old rattled off four consecutive birdies through the opening four holes, before reaching the turn in five-under for the round with another at the ninth.

The duo teed off alongside Akshay Bhati, who finished in a tie for fifth at 18-under

The duo teed off alongside Akshay Bhati, who finished in a tie for fifth at 18-under

The duo teed off alongside Akshay Bhati, who finished in a tie for fifth at 18-under

Young was motoring. The only snag? Between the ninth and the tenth, he knocked the gearstick into reverse. Any hopes of repeating his feat were extinguished at the tenth with a bogey. They died a death at the 12th with a double. And they were long in their grave at the 16th with another bogey blunder.

All good things must come to an end. For Young, that end just came a little too soon – and at too great a cost. He finished in a share of ninth, alongside Shane Lowry, Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark.

While he tumbled out of contention, the three-way horse race at the top grew. The leaderboard only became more clustered as Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau and Tom Hoge joined the fray.

Worrying about 22-year-olds running out of steam may seem like a fool’s errand but the Travelers marked Bhatia’s seventh and as the finish line came into sight, it began to show.

While Scheffler and Kim pulled ahead, Bhatia went backwards. As the final grouping rounded TPC River Highlands’ lake, he had slipped to a tie of fifth at 18-under, finishing alongside Cantlay, Finau and Justin Thomas.

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