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Raleigh's Webb Simpson wins The Players Championship

15 May, 2018, 13:37 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Players Championship 2018 Tiger Woods shoots six-under 30 on front nine makes huge move up leader boardMore

The 14-time major victor fell a few feet short of providing the first real drama Sunday on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Simpson's overall score of 18 under was the lowest at the Players Championship since 2003, and his six consecutive birdies on Friday equaled a tournament record.

Rory McIlroy, whose entire being is predicated on his driving prowess, did not make the weekend.

Koepka also recorded just the second albatross in tournament history, when he one-hopped his second shot into the cup on the par-five 16th.

Simpson has spent years in putting torment following the banning of anchored clubs.

If there was any disappointment, Tiger Woods said, it was in getting himself to eight-under through 12 but settling for a seven-under round.

Simpson called Tesori "the mayor" because of his local ties, saying, "He can't get from the putting green to the range without getting stopped a few times". In scrambling he stands second, powerful aids to golfing wellbeing, and on tricky layouts where length is no great advantage, lethal attributes indeed. That's when his caddie, Paul Tesori, stepped up and gave his player a much-needed reality check. I was pretty stubborn.

"No. 14, it's blowing downwind, and it's off the left, and [the pin] is on top of that crown, and I thought it [the ball] was going to skip", Woods said of the shot from 110 yards. After almost acing the par-3 17th, he made a quadruple-bogey on the par-4 18th that included a three-putt from five feet for a 2-over 74.

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"I think it helped me, a little bit, continue to think about making birdies", he said. Four-time Major victor McIlroy is going to be one of the all-time greats but he misses cuts like anyone else, which Tiger did not do.

Tiger Woods (69) finished T-11, while Justin Thomas, who like Woods came up from the cutline, carded 66 and finished T-11.

That the headlines will focus on a man who ended up outside the top 10 underlines the fact Woods remains golf's biggest draw.

It would, however, be the highwater mark of Woods's challenge.

The hole has been something of a nemesis for Woods. But he didn't, and Simpson regrouped with a birdie on 11 and a bunch of pars down the stretch.

When Simpson finally capped off the victory, he met his wife, Taylor Dowd, on the 18th green and buried his head in her shoulder as they embraced and said, "It's been a long time". All in all, I think he played like a 5- or 6-under round, nearly shot 7 or 8 and ended up with 3.

"There's no way I would have predicted I would be at this point at the beginning of the year, the way I was just coming back and just trying to get a feel for it and then hopefully having a full schedule".

"His game, if I compare it to other guys that are winning golf tournaments that I'm playing with day to day, it's right up there", Spieth said.

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