Woods silences Garcia with Players victory
Tiger Woods closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 13 under par for a two shot win over Kevin Streelman, Jeff Maggert and David Lingmerth.
The world number one joins Hal Sutton, Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Davis Love III and Jack Nicklaus as the only multiple winners of what is commonly referred to as golf’s ’5th Major’.
Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Woods, who had a share of the lead with Sergio Garcia and David Lingmerth after 54 holes, played flawless golf over the notorious closing stretch at TPC Sawgrass on his way to winning his 78th PGA Tour title.
“It was a tough battle,” said Woods.
“The golf course played tricky, it was fast and difficult and I hit it so good today – except on 14 – and did not miss many shots and made a lot of putts too.”
Over the closing stretch Woods was in his element, shaping his shots and nailing his putts on a layout that pushes players to their limit.
“It could have been something low today,” said Woods.
“This is a very tricky golf course and anything can happen coming down the last three holes. I knew where Sergio was going down 18, but so many different things can happen on this course and was able to play the last three holes 1-under par to get the win.”
The stats show that Sergio Garcia has been paired with Tiger Woods twenty times, and on most of those occasions Garcia has staggered off the course with his tail between his legs.
On Saturday, Garcia began the third round with a one-stroke lead over Woods and arguably didn’t help his cause with a verbal spat against the world number one.
Garcia had complained in a TV interview during the weather interrupted third round that his shot from the par-5 second fairway was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods, who was some 50 yards away in the trees and fired them up by taking a fairway metal out of his bag.
He said Woods should have been paying attention to what his playing partner was doing, and it became a war of the words for the next two days.
When they finished the storm-delayed third round on Sunday morning, Garcia kept at it, saying that Woods is “not the nicest guy on tour.”
Woods ended the war of words on Sunday by letting his club’s to the talking and doing what he does best – closing out tournaments.
The 37-year-old is 53-4 in PGA Tour career wins when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
Tied with Garcia with two holes to play, Woods won by hitting fairways and greens when the pressure was on.
The fact he played the notorious closing three holes at 1-under is testament to just how good Woods really is.
Garcia in contrast imploded as he dropped six shots in the last two holes – finding the water three times – to fall out of a tie for the lead with a closing round of 76 in to a tie for eighth at 7-under.
Woods earned $1.71 million, pushing his season total to more than $5.8 million in just seven tournaments.
This is the 12th season Woods has won at least four times and this was the quickest he has reached four wins in a year to notch 78 PGA Tour titles – trailing Sam Snead’s all-time mark of 82 by just four.
Marc Leishman was the best of the Australians in a tie for 8th at 7-under, with Jason Day and Adam Scott finishing at 5-under in a tie of 19th.