Webb Simpson wins the Players Championship

Filed under: Florida News,Golf,Orlando Golf |

The Players Championship 2018, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach - 10th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Webb Simpson navigated his way through the final round at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday to record a four shot victory and take the honors at the Players Championship.

Starting the day with a seven shot lead over closest rival Danny Lee and nine shots ahead of World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the 32 year old from Raleigh, North Carolina recorded a 1 over 73 to end more than four years without a victory. He has now won for the fifth time and moves to No. 20 in the world after netting $1.98 million, the second-largest tournament payoff behind only the U.S. Open.

No one got closer than four shots, even after Simpson made double-bogey on the 18th hole. “It was harder than I thought,” Simpson said. “There’s so much noise in front of us with Tiger, and you wonder what everybody is doing.”

Simpson was referring to Tiger Woods who made another big run that revved up the crowd and revived hopes that he was close to winning. The key moment for Simpson though, was hitting just short of the green on the par-5 11th to set up a two-putt birdie, and then finding the island green on the 17th when he had a six-shot lead.

“Once I got to 17 and the ball was on the green,” he said, “internally I was celebrating.”

Justin Thomas left the course as the No. 1 player in the world as his closing round 66 to tie for 11th was good enough to end Dustin Johnson’s 15-month reign at the top of the ranking. Thomas is the 21st player to reach No. 1 since the ranking began in 1986, and the seventh American.

Next year the event will be held in March and it is unlikely that the 1,754 birdies for the week will be beaten. The final edition for May was one for the record books as Simpson tied the course record with a 63 in the second round when he effectively seized control and tied Greg Norman’s 54-hole record from 1994 at 19-under 197. Simpson also set a record for the largest margin through three rounds.

But this ultimately was all about Simpson, who had missed the cut in four of his previous eight appearances at TPC Sawgrass and had gone 107 starts on the PGA Tour since his most recent victory in Las Vegas toward the end of 2013.

 

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