Simpson cruises to Players Championship victory

  • Simpson cruises to Players Championship victory

Simpson cruises to Players Championship victory

Tommy Fleetwood's 68 and 12 under could and should have been better but for a series of missed putts.

'There are some big events to be played, ' Woods said.

Still, he hasn't played very well at this track over the course of his career and it seemed important for him to jump-start the second half of his season with something on the weekend. Woods has won five times but hasn't played since 2015. Of course after five years and so many ups and downs, all Simpson cares about is walking away with that trophy any way he can get it. Grade: A+.

The first round started with one of the best threesomes in golf with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler. Four-time Major victor McIlroy is going to be one of the all-time greats but he misses cuts like anyone else, which Tiger did not do. Among the seven at 8-under and 11 behind were Woods and Spieth, who shot 65 each and are capable of coming out with that or better yet again. Fowler also had a terrible first couple of days and he too would not see the weekend.

When you pick up more than nine strokes on the field for the week in strokes gained/putting, it's easy to key in on your putter as the club that helped you win the tournament.

South African Charl Schwartzel (67) and Americans Xander Schauffele (67) and Jimmy Walker (67) tied for second on 14 under.

2018 has the potential to be a career-defining year for Webb Simpson.

Woods dominated the first 12 holes, during which he had eight birdies, but then the birdies dried up.

Reflecting on his win, Simpson said: It feels great. I've just been fighting so hard to get to here.

Considering that Woods was tied for 69th after the opening round and made the cut on the number at 1-under par and was tied for 68th entering the weekend, his 65-69 finish on Saturday and Sunday can not be ignored. If this is the Tiger we saw in the final two rounds then we will see him in the winner's circle in 2018 maybe a few times.

It was a year ago that Simpson got a tip from former Players champion Tim Clark, who had also used an anchored stroke and was among those who felt the new rule was unnecessary.

The resulting double-bogey bounced Woods out of the top 10, which meant a significant difference in prize money, FedEx points and the world ranking.

Woods' brilliant 65 on Saturday was a ideal example of where his game is right now. David Lee who had a final round pairing with Webb Simpson would struggle. Simpson, now holds the largest lead at seven in the history of the tournament. He stayed solid throughout the tournament and never looked like he was going to give up the lead.

Add in Justin Thomas doing enough by finishing alongside Woods to end Dustin Johnson's run of 64 consecutive weeks at world No 1; Tommy Fleetwood breaking into the world's top ten for the first time on the back of claiming a share of seventh and Ian Poulter producing another strong performance in this event to bolster his Ryder Cup hopes, and the so-called fifth major certainly threw up plenty of good storylines on this occasion. On his final hole he hit a shot in the water but at that point, it didn't matter. I made some putts.