Simpson eases to Sawgrass glory

14 May 2018 03:23:44 EST

Webb Simpson held his nerve in the final round of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida to ease to a four-shot win and claim his first PGA Tour victory for five years.

The American held a huge seven-shot lead going into Sunday's final round and, despite the odd mistake, never saw the gap close to less than four.

Six strokes clear playing the final hole, he could even afford to make a double bogey. That completed a closing 73 and a 72-hole score of 18-under-par, putting Simpson four shots in front of Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele.

Tiger Woods made a big charge on the final day, at one point getting to 14-under and ready to cash in on any late mistakes from the leader. But it was Woods who faltered as he bogeyed the 14th and then made double bogey at the penultimate hole after finding water off the tee.

Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, lost his grip on the World No.1 spot. He had to finish tied 11th or better to stay at the summit but could only manage tied 17th and that allowed compatriot Justin Thomas to hit top spot for the first time.

Simpson was the main story at Sawgrass all week however and he said after his commanding win: "It was difficult. It was harder than I thought.

"I would have loved to have gotten off to a little better start. I was 1-under through 7, feeling pretty good with 9 coming up and 11, but dropped a shot at 8, and there's so much noise in front of us with Tiger, and you wonder what everybody is doing.

"I felt like that middle part of the round was big. After I bogeyed 10, we had a little wait on 11, and making a birdie on 11 I think was probably the biggest hole for me of the day. Got me back to even par for the day.

"And then to birdie 16 was great. You don't feel relaxed until that ball finds land on 17. So once that happened, I felt pretty good about it.

"It means everything to me. To come here against this field and put up some good numbers the first three days and do what I needed to do today to get it done, I'm so happy."

Simpson is 50/1 to win next month's US Open and 40/1 to capture the PGA Tour Money List.

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