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Simpson eases to victory, but Tiger impresses again

Simpson eases to victory, but Tiger impresses again

Webb Simpson eased to victory at the Players Championship, but Tiger Woods impressed again as he continues his rise back to the top of world golf.

 

What happened at the Players Championship?

A seven-shot 54-hole lead has never been lost in PGA Tour history. At one point on Sunday, Webb Simpson must have started to feel the pressure as his lead dwindled down to four shots, with Tiger Woods primed to pounce from the chasing pack.

Simpson started solidly, and the 30ft birdie putt at the 7th would have settled him down. But then things started to get a little nervy with bogeys at 8 and 10 while Woods was charging alongside the likes of Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker.

When Woods bogeyed the 14th after a huge drive, the momentum had come to a shuddering halt. Simpson then went on to birdie both par-5s on the back-nine to make his task comfortable heading up the daunting 18th hole.

It was an ugly finish, as he pulled his approach into the water and failed to get up-and-down, but a closing double-bogey wouldn’t ruin what was a sensational performance all week from the former US Open champion.

Full Players Championship leaderboard

Justin Thomas has been considered as the best golfer in the world for quite some time now. This week, it was made official, as he knocked Dustin Johnson off the top spot. Johnson has held the number one ranking for 64 consecutive weeks.

Talking point

Tiger Woods is back.

Woods, in his patented red-and-black, was six-under through 12 holes while striking the ball beautifully. His 353-yard drive down the middle of the fairway at the 14th hole evidenced that. With wedge in hand, he pitched the ball just feet away from the pin, and spun it back off the front of the green – an awful shot in the circumstances.

The way Woods was playing up to that point, only a few would have predicted the sloppy bogey that followed. That was his chance gone, but make no mistake, Tiger Woods is back and is a force at the top of the game.

He made the cut on the number, and he’s been in contention of winning in four of his last six starts, and while some will say that he needs to win again to prove that he is truly back, putting himself in the mix week after week is enough to be back in most people’s book. Let’s be honest here, to even be in this position now is a miracle considering where Woods was twelve months ago.

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Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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