May 14, 2018: Webb Simpson has completed his career resurrection in style by dominating THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Simpson – a former U.S. Open champion who has spent three years reinventing himself after the anchor putting ban – claimed his fifth PGA TOUR win by four shots after a 1-over 73 final round.
“It’s been a long time. We did it,” Simpson said as he embraced his wife Dowd on the final green.
It left him 18 under for the tournament to be four shots clear of Charl Schwartzel (67), Jimmy Walker (67) and PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (67) who tied for second place at 14 under.
Such was Simpson’s dominance that he was able to hook his approach on the 72nd hole into the water, make a double bogey, and still finish well clear.
It is Simpson’s first win since taking out the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas in October 2013.
The win is projecting the 32-year-old to eighth place in the FedExCup and inside the top 25 players of the world rankings.
Simpson also becomes the ninth player to have won THE PLAYERS and a U.S. Open with the victory making him World Golf Hall of Fame eligible in the future.
Along the way he equaled the course record with his second round 63, and also the 36 and 54-hole PLAYERS scoring records at 15-under 129 and 19-under 197 respectively.
Despite making the cut on the number Tiger Woods moved as close as four shots behind during Sunday’s round and into a tie for second.
But a costly double bogey on the island par-3 17th hole dropped him back down the leaderboard and his 3-under 69 left him tied for 11th.
“I played so well this weekend unfortunately just didn’t cash it in,” Woods said.
Earlier Brooks Koepka had equaled the course record with a 9-under 63, a round that included an albatross with a 6-iron from 208-yards on the par-5 16th hole.
FedExCup leader Justin Thomas is projected to move to world No. 1 after closing with a 6-under 66 to finish in a tie for 11th.
He takes over from Dustin Johnson who had held the position from February 2017 for a total of 64 weeks – but struggled to a Sunday 72 to finish tied 17th.
PGA TOUR Release