Simpson puts on stunning display for Players win
American Webb Simpson couldn’t be stopped in Florida at the PGA Tour’s marquee tournament, as he cruised to a four-shot win at The Players Championship.
After tying the course record in round two with a 9-under 63, Simpson stormed to victory Sunday after starting the day with a seven-shot lead. The 2012 US Open champion shot a final round 1-over 73 to finish the week at 18-under.
“It feels great. I am exhausted. It was a long day and it is actually probably harder work to be ahead by five or six than near the lead,” said Simpson.
“It was tough. I tried to just stay busy in the morning, reinforce that it was just one shot at a time – you have a tendency to want to fast forward and get it done. I had to pace myself and just stay in it.”
Simpson won for the fifth time, his first victory from 107 starts, and he now moves to No. 20 in the world. He collected US$1.98 million for the win, the second-largest prize purse tournament behind the US Open.
What’s In The Bag – Webb Simpson
- Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
- Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5º)
- 3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 (15º)
- 5 Wood: Titleist 913Fd (18º)
- Hybrid: Titleist 913Hd (20º)
- Hybrid: Titleist 915Hd (23.5º)
- Irons: 718 MB (5-PW)
- Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (54-14F, 60-06K)
- Putter: Odyssey Tank Cruiser V-Line
Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele tied for second at 14-under. Aussie Jason Day, with two PGA Tour wins already this season, and Jason Dufner finished tied for fifth at 13-under. After holing out for eagle on the par-5 ninth, Day made nine straight pars to end his round to be the best of the Aussies.
Adam Scott, the 2004 champion at this event, finished in a tie for 11th position at 11-under, having made the cut now seven consecutive times, to record his ninth top-20 finish in 17 appearances at TPC Sawgrass.
Marc Leishman was in position for a solid finish after a 71-71-67 start. But a final-round 76 saw him slide down the leaderboard to record a tie 63rd finish to be the last of the Aussies to make the 1-under cut.
Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Smith and Rod Pampling all missed the cut with Pampling firing a second round 80, which sees him missing the last five cuts in eleven starts at The Players.
Tiger Woods rocketed up the leaderboard Saturday with a 7-under 65, and he made an early move again on the final day. Six under through his first 13 holes, Woods found himself tied for second on the back nine at 14-under, but he made a sloppy bogey on 14, and then hit his tee shot in the water on the island green par-3 17th, resulting in a double-bogey 5.
The 14-time major champion later giving a frank assessment as to his progress, sending a warning to the rest of the field with the US Open being just a few weeks away.
“There’s no way I would have predicted I would be at this point at the beginning of the year,” said Woods. “I’m not that far off from winning golf tournaments.”
Woods finished tied for 11th at 11-under. He now has four top-12 finishes already this year and if he can tidy up a few loose ends, there is no doubt we will see him back in the winner’s circle this year.