Pardon the pun, but Scottie Scheffler is on an island by himself right now. The world No. 1 shot a final-round 64, erasing a five-shot deficit to successfully defend his Players Championship title.

On Friday afternoon, it wasn’t even clear whether Scottie Scheffler would play the weekend at TPC Sawgrass. In fact, Scheffler’s caddie Ted Scott told his wife that he didn’t think they would. Scheffler was battling neck pain that prevented him from making a complete swing on Friday, an injury he received treatment for throughout the second round. Despite “slapping it around,” Scheffler still managed to stay within striking distance. On Sunday, he holed out for eagle on No. 4, added five more birdies over the next eight holes, and watched as his competitors failed to execute on a course that ratchets up the pressure as the round goes on.

Any golfer’s success boils down to two buckets: good shots and bad shots. It should come as no surprise that Scottie’s good shots are executed at a higher level than anyone else alive. His distance control is elite, and his combination of both accuracy and distance are nearly unmatched. Everything from his driver to his wedges are among the best in the world. But while good shots are great, they aren’t always the reason he wins golf tournaments. Hell, Rory McIlroy made 26 birdies this week and still only finished T-19. What makes Scheffler so special is that the majority of Scottie’s “bad” shots are still perfectly acceptable, because he takes his range of outcomes into effect before deciding on a shot. As fellow egg Joseph LaMagna discussed on X/Twitter, Scheffler’s discipline allows him to minimize even the possibility of a big mistake. He may make the occasional loose swing, but you just don’t see Scottie make poor decisions. He’s very Tiger-like in that approach, allowing his elite tee-to-green abilities to shine through. You’re going to have to go out and beat Scheffler over the course of 72 holes. He’s not going to do it for you.

When competing against a player with that combination of talent and discipline, you don’t have much margin for error. Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark both just barely exceeded their allotment of mistakes this weekend. Neither played poorly on Sunday, really, but their respective weaknesses emerged on the back nine. Clark’s spinny, high-right ball reared its ugly head on Nos. 11, 13, and 14, putting him in a really difficult position down the stretch. He continues to show flashes of being a consistent top-10 player, but there always seems to be a few tee shots where his upper body lags behind under pressure. For Xander’s part, you can argue his downfall was in a similar vein. Bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 were caused by poor tee shots that missed the fairway to the right. With the tournament on the line, he played it too cautious with his putt on 17, and then took too safe a line (or just failed to execute, neither is good) and left himself in the pine straw on the 72nd. I don’t necessarily agree that Xander doesn’t “have that dog in him,” but let’s just say that he isn’t high on my list of guys I’d want to bet on pulling off an important shot.

The 2024 Players isn’t some kind of long-term referendum on this trio of careers, but it was a good barometer for the current PGA Tour pecking order. Scottie is the alpha, and everyone else falls into a pool of elite players who occasionally take their best shots at the champ. It’s one big game of king of the court, and Scheffler isn’t giving up the ball anytime soon.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter as part of Fried Egg Golf’s Players Championship coverage, sponsored by Tourism Ireland. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.