PONTE VEDRA, Fla. (Reuters) – American Webb Simpson ended a long victory drought with a commanding four-stroke win at the Players Championship on Sunday.
The 2012 U.S. Open champion was never seriously challenged after starting the day with a seven-shot lead, though Tiger Woods briefly got within four strokes on another ideal day for low scoring at TPC Sawgrass.
Simpson did not hit the high notes of his previous three rounds, but a one-over-par 73 was more than enough to clinch the deal in the lucrative tournament which awards $11 million in prizemoney and $1.98 million to the winner.
Even with an anti-climactic double-bogey at the last, the 32-year-old from North Carolina finished at 18-under 270 for his fifth victory on the PGA Tour and first since late 2013.
South African Charl Schwartzel (67) and Americans Xander Schauffele (67) and Jimmy Walker (67) tied for second on 14-under.
Woods, for the second straight day, plundered the first 12 holes but finished poorly, showing his comeback from a spinal fusion is still a work in progress after eight events this year.
He picked up six birdies but dunked his tee shot into the water at the island-green par-three 17th for a double-bogey.
Woods carded 69 to tie for 11th on 11-under.
Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ian Ransom