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Simpson wins Players despite Woods' charge

Simpson wins Players despite Woods' charge

In another stroke of brilliance from a player ranked 41st in the world, Simpson proceeded to hole his third shot for an eagle that stretched his lead to seven strokes.

Webb Simpson held his nerve to claim his first victory since 2013 in the Players Championship, despite the best efforts of a chasing pack briefly spearheaded by 14-time major victor Tiger Woods.

The Englishman also became only the ninth player in tournament history to card six consecutive birdies, two days after Simpson was the eighth to achieve the feat.

Still, there were moments where it could have come unraveled. Simpson did not hit the high notes of his previous three rounds, but he was able to enjoy his victory march down the 18th fairway and even a double-bogey took nothing away from the quality of his performance. He certainly was not as aggressive or as bent on making birdies. With a front pin in the bowl, he hit sand wedge and listened to thousands of fans surrounding the green cheer as the ball trickled down the slope to 3 feet for birdie. He wasn't having to grind out 8-, 9- and 10-footers over the course of the day. That was a month before he was sidelined with three more back surgeries.

"It was tough", Simpson told Steve Sands of NBC. I think I was too closed minded so I just tried to learn a lot about putting and what's important.

It was his lowest round on the PGA Tour since a 65 in the second round of the Wyndham Championship at the end of the 2015 regular season. The adoption of a claw grip aligned to a mid-length putter has seen him rocket to fifth. This week, he was elite.

There's a attractive irony in that. All in all, I think he played like a 5- or 6-under round, nearly shot 7 or 8 and ended up with 3. "She has been praying for me". "This was for her". He earned $1.98 million, for his biggest payday since winning the 2012 U.S. Open. He stayed solid throughout the tournament and never looked like he was going to give up the lead. In that sense, this one has to be at least as satisfying if not more so. This is the first time the event is being held on this course, as Billy Horschel won the event previous year at TPC Las Colinas, where the Byron Nelson had been held since 1983. He shot 73-70-68-66 and got better each day.

Johnson is among six players to lose a six-shot lead in the final round, last fall in Shanghai.

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Hours after Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth charged up the leaderboard with morning 65s that moved them to eight-under, Simpson showed now sign of bowing to pressure from any quarter. He also had one of the more freakish finishes you'll ever see.

"What I saw this weekend makes me excited". "If he got off to a half-decent start, I mean who knows what would have happened on the weekend". I battled through, I didn't have my best stuff today but it was good enough.

"I really wanted to do this for my mom", Simpson said after winning The Players on Mother's Day.

"I felt very comfortable with every facet of my game today".

Oh, and you know that annoying, worn-out one-liner that's always been muttered on every single golf course across the world? "Didn't know. But now I feel like I've got my playing feels and I'm playing tournament golf and I've got it".

May 13, 2018 -If there's one thing you need to tame TPC Sawgrass, it's a well-rounded game.

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