Tiger Woods won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida after Sergio Garcia dropped six shots in his last two holes.
Woods and Garcia were tied at the top of the leaderboard with two holes left to play but, after watching the American secure a par on the treacherous par-3 17th, Garcia stood up and put his tee shot into the water short of the putting surface.
The Spaniard found the water again en-route to a disastrous quadruple bogey seven. He then put another ball in the water on the 18th. That led to a double bogey so a total of six shots dropped on the last two holes. He finished six shots back.
“It’s always nice to have a chance at beating the No. 1 player in the world, but unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to this week,” Garcia said, somewhat defensively.
David Lingmerth had a chance to tie Tiger with a long putt on the final green. The Swede missed it and the title went to the World Number 1. It was his second Players title and the 78th PGA Tour victory of his career.
“I had an opportunity to win the golf tournament when I was tied for the lead today, and I thought I handled the situation well and really played well today when I really needed to. And that’s something I’m excited about it,” Woods said.
Woods matter of fact assessment reflected his refusal to continue a war of words with Sergio Garcia that had been rumbling along through the weekend.
The Spaniard described Woods as “not the nicest guy on Tour,” and said that, “we don’t enjoy each other’s company.”
It looked as though Garcia would get the better of his rival in the final round when Woods hooked his tee-shot on the 14th into water. He made a double-bogey and it seemed it might cost him the victory.
But he bounced back with a fine par save at the next then made a birdie at the par-5 16th before Garcia’s meltdown at the 17th.
Kevin Streelman of the USA played an excellent final round of 67 to climb into a tie for second with Jeff Maggert and David Lingmerth.
Scotland’s Martin Laird also closed with 67 to make a tie for fifth place.
Garcia eventually limped in with a 76, only good enough to tie for eighth. That tie included Brits Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
May 9-12, purse $9,500,000 par 72
1 Tiger Woods (USA) 67 67 71 70 275 $1,710,000
T2 Kevin Streelman (USA) 69 70 71 67 277 $709,333
T2 David Lingmerth (Swe) 68 68 69 72 277 $709,333
T2 Jeff Maggert (USA) 70 71 66 70 277 $709,333
T5 Martin Laird (Sco) 71 67 73 67 278 $346,750
T5 Ryan Palmer (USA) 67 69 70 72 278 $346,750
T5 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 67 71 72 278 $346,750
T8 Ben Crane (USA) 69 71 72 69 281 $237,500
T8 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 65 72 76 281 $237,500
T8 Marc Leishman (Aus) 72 66 71 72 281 $237,500
T8 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66 72 73 70 281 $237,500
T8 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 71 69 71 70 281 $237,500
T8 Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 66 74 72 281 $237,500
T8 Casey Wittenberg (USA) 67 69 70 75 281 $237,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage